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by Sofia Villegas
05 December 2023
Scottish council still assessing the impact of cyber-attack a month after

he Western Isles is also known as the Outer Hebrides | Alamy

Scottish council still assessing the impact of cyber-attack a month after

A Scottish council is still “counting costs” after a ransomware attack, its chief executive has said. 

Almost a month after a cyber-attack caused “significant disruption” to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s IT system, some data remains “inaccessible”, chief executive Malcolm Burr said. 

However, he also denied the data had been lost. 

Speaking to the BBC, Burr said: “In terms of data recovery, that is ongoing work. 

"You hear terms being used like ‘lost’, but it is all there, and it is simply that we can’t access it. 

"Data recovery - that remains a possibility, and that’s obviously high-priority work for the team and those who are advising us." 

The local authority has called for specialists to help rebuild the affected IT systems, while Burr has also said the Scottish Government might need to provide technical assistance. 

This incident follows a recent investigation by The Ferret revealing that Scottish local authorities had recorded more than 10,000 data breaches over the past five years. 

It also comes at the back of the latest statistics from the Scottish Government on cybercrime.  The report revealed Police Scotland recorded almost 15,000 cybercrimes in 2022-23 - which has more than doubled pre-pandemic levels. 

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