Cyberattack continues to impact council systems, including tax payments

Disturbing: Property hacking comes to Hertfordshire

Hackney Council services went down last year after a hack. - Credit: Archant

Hackney residents have been left worried about their council tax, months after a cyberattack crippled the council’s online systems.

Following the attack last October, the council still cannot set up or change direct debits, resulting in widespread problems with accounts and other services.

Rebecca, 36, from De Beauvoir, will owe the council “about £3,000” in council tax this month after moving house and being unable to update her payment details.

"The people now living in the flat haven’t been able to pay either," she said. "They phoned up and they were just told [by the council], ‘yeah, we're not doing it.'

"They haven’t even given a vague idea of when it will be fixed."

Julia, 42, has been overpaying tax since moving to a lower-band property in London Fields in mid-October.

She called Hackney Council several times, but was told the authority could not do anything.

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In December, she said: "It would be nice for them to clarify the situation and manage expectations… After two months, you should give clear directions.”

Matthew Horn, 26, left his Hackney flat at the end of August. He was told he would get a refund of £100 from the council after slightly overpaying.

"I did everything they told me to do,” he said. "And then didn't hear from them. I followed up on Twitter and couldn't get a response. I kept going around in circles with the online chat... It has been going on for months."

Cllr Rebecca Rennison, cabinet member for finance, housing needs and supply, said no one would be penalised for any missed payments caused by the cyberattack.

New online forms have been set up to help with council tax-related issues and other payment options are available.

Residents can also call 020 8356 3154 to get an estimate of the council tax which will apply in a new home.

"I would like to apologise for the disruption this has caused to our residents and reiterate our anger that outside parties have chosen to target a public body in this way," said Cllr Rennison.

Other council services, including property searches, continue to be out of order.

The National Cyber Security Centre, National Crime Agency and police are investigating the attack.

READ MORE: Hackney cyberattack puts property market ‘on pause’

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