Hackers try “brute force” to break into Council’s system

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Wealden District Council suffered a sustained cyber attack on 14th June.

A report from Cllr Philip Lunn (Con, Crowborough South East), going to next week’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee, describes how on that day the Council’s had about 3,000 attempts to break into their email system. This compares to 20-30 in a typical day.

A “brute force attack” is where hackers use a systematic approach of trying different combinations of user IDs and passwords to infiltrate an authentication system.

Cllr Lunn report’s that:

Following the concerning increase in the volume of spurious attempts to log in, we had to make some urgent adjustments to a number of user settings, which has required users to sign-up for Multi-Factor Authentication when signing into their accounts. This has gone very well with only a handful of enquiries to our Helpdesk. A similar level of attacks continue as at the date of preparing this report and it is envisaged that they will continue in the foreseeable future – but, none have been successful.

Cllr Lunn, Portfolio Holder for Community and Public Health

Multi-Factor Authentication adds a layer of protection to the sign-in process. When accessing accounts, users provide additional identity verification, such as entering a code received by phone or text message.

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