Norfolk County Council back online after network outage

Email systems are back up and running at Norfolk County Council following an outage that prevented some staff from sending and receiving messages. The authority denies hackers were to blame for tech troubles.

The problem started at around 10am on Wednesday morning and wasn’t resolved until late that evening.

The blackout appeared to affect council staff but other systems and schools in the county were unaffected.

A spokeswoman for the council told Public Technology that the network fault “we experienced yesterday appears to have been resolved following extensive work by our ICT staff”.

She added: “We will be in talks today with supplier BT to understand more about why the fault occurred. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

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Speaking to the Eastern Daily Press yesterday, a council spokesman denied the problem was caused by a cyber attack. “We are confident this is a network fault and not the fault of a cyber attack,” he said.

According to the same report, in November, an email spoofing attack on Norfolk County Council led to a temporary blacklisting of its emails by security firms resulting in messages either arriving hours after being sent or not arriving at all. There was no evidence of any breach in the council’s systems at the time.

Concerns over cyber attacks on council infrastructure have been increased after ransomware left Lincolnshire County Council without its computer systems last week as ICT staff took action to contain the spread through its servers. Despite this, some data was lost as a result of the attack.

Colin Marrs

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