Personal info of 6,000 Lewisham residents at risk after breach

London borough investigates hack that took place earlier this year

Lewisham Council has warned that the financial details of 6,000 people in the London borough could have been endangered following a recent IT security breach.

The authority said that “unauthorised access to an IT storage portal” used by the council took place earlier this year. The breach was discovered on 24 April.

The portal sits outside of the council’s own IT network, but was being used by members of its digital team “for data analysis as part of a homelessness project”, Lewisham said. It contained “some financial and personal data relating to residents” of the south-east London borough. The local authority added that its own IT network “remains secure, and the core IT system is unaffected”.

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“We are not aware of any inappropriate use of the data. However, as a precaution we are making residents of the borough aware,” the council added. “We are directly contacting approximately 6,000 people whose financial details we believe could have been affected.”

The data that could have been impacted includes personal information pertaining to council tax, housing benefit and housing records, adult social care, education, and planning. 

“We are taking this matter very seriously and have reported it as a crime,” the council said. “We are working with our partners and the appropriate regulators and authorities, and have already implemented a tightening of our security controls. The investigation into the matter continues.”

Lewisham residents with questions or concerns are advised to call 0800 953 3045.

Sam Trendall

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