FOI request (FOI225931)
Cyber attacks and cyber security
Requested Wed 18 October 2017
Responded Wed 18 October 2017
Please provide the following information in an email for the financial years 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16
- How many times in each year between 2011 and 2016 was the council subject to cyber attacks? Please break down these figures by type of attack e.g ransomware, malware, denial of service, phishing attack or other (please specify).
- How much money has the council invested each year between 2011 and 2016 on cyber/IT security? Please break down these figures by the type of improvement purchased.
Please present the information in a format similar to the example below:
No. malware attacks:
No. denial of service attacks:
No, phishing attacks
No. other attacks:
Total no. of attacks
Amount spent on IT security training:
Amount spent on anti0virus software:
Amount spent on new operating software:
Amount on other cyber/IT security:
Total spent on cyber/IT security:
In addition could you provide information about successful attacks (those which were able to steal or damage data or otherwise compromise IT security) between 2011 and 2016.
Please specify the year of the successful attack, the type of attack, and the consequence e.g data stolen, data damaged, service denied for X amount of time, council website hacked, council social media hacked, etc)
Request Refused Notice of Refusal Disclosure of information relating to ICT infrastructure and security constitutes a security risk as it would leave the Council's computer assets more vulnerable to a malicious hacking attack. This means that disclosure would: • Make the Council more vulnerable to crime (Section 31) • Risk harming the systems on which the day-to-day business of the Council relies (Section 43) Section 31 (Law Enforcement) Section 31(1)(a) states that information is exempt if its disclosure is likely to prejudice the prevention or detection of crime. ICO guidance states that this can be used to protect information on a public authority's systems which would make it more vulnerable to crime. This exemption can be used by a public authority that has no law enforcement function: • To protect the work of one that does • To withhold information that would make anyone, including the public authority itself, more vulnerable to crime The crime in question would be a malicious attack on the Council's computer systems. Since the disclosure of the withheld information would make the Council's systems more vulnerable to such crime, the exemption is engaged. The exemption is subject to the public interest test. There is an overwhelming public interest in keeping the Council's computer systems secure which would be served by non-disclosure. This outweighs the public interest in accountability and transparency that would be served by disclosure. Section 43 (Commercial Interests) Section 43(2) states that information is exempt if its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person (including the public authority holding it). Disclosure of information relating to ICT infrastructure and security puts the council at risk of a malicious hacking attack. This would compromise the Council's ability to provide its services and carry out 'business-as-usual' should our systems be compromised. Were our systems to be compromise, the cost of a system recovery would be detrimental to the Council's commercial interests. The exemption is subject to the public interest test. There is an overwhelming public interest in keeping the Council's computer systems secure which would be served by non-disclosure. This outweighs the public interest in accountability and transparency that would be served by disclosure.
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