Over half of UK councils have been attacked by ransomware, shows study

Several UK councils don't even know if they were attacked by any ransomware or not

More than 430 local councils across the United Kingdom have fallen prey to some kind of ransomware, showed a study based on a Freedom of Information Act (FOI) request. The study was conducted by security firm Barracuda.

According to The Inquirer, 27% of the total councils, that took part in the study, said that they had been victims of security ransoms, while 43% said they hadn't. However, the most alarming was the response that was given by the remaining 30%. They said that they didn't even know whether or not they had been affected by any ransomware, their IT had been outsourced to private contractors.

Out of all, only one council admitted that it had paid the ransom to the hackers, however, it did not mention the amount, reported the publication.

The other councils, who said that they have been attacked by hackers demanding ransom, said that they didn't pay any ransom amount but just restored their data from a backup. While 70% of the councils said that they backup data, 30% said that they outsource.

Also Read: WannaCry hackers are cashing out the ransomware!

As per The Inquirer, Chris Ross, SVP of International at Barracuda Networks said, "While it's promising that the majority of councils affected were able to remediate ransomware attacks quickly due to their backup system working correctly, it's still disappointing that so many of them fell victim to ransomware in the first place."

Just about last week, it was revealed that the second biggest police force of England and Wales, the Greater Manchester Police, still runs Windows XP operating system on one out of every five PCs. It was also reported that Metropolitan Police also runs XP on a variety of machines. This makes both of these institutions vulnerable to ransomware, such as WannaCry, said the publication.