Cyber-attack leaves streetlights burning day and night

A cyber-attack on a council recently led to streetlights being lit day and night, highlighting the potential vulnerability of public realm infrastructure to this type of threat.

Leicester City Council called the IT breach on 7 March ‘highly sophisticated’, according to the BBC.

The attack reportedly crippled a number of services and led to confidential documents being published online by the hackers, including rent statements and applications to buy council housing.

A city council spokesperson told the BBC: ‘We are aware of a number of streetlights that are staying on during the day. This is due to a technical issue connected to the recent cyber-attack, when we were forced to shut down our IT systems.

‘It means we are currently not able to remotely identify faults in the street lighting system. The default mode for faults is that the lights stay on to ensure that roads are not left completely unlit and become a safety concern.’

Council staff have been working with Leicestershire Police and the National Cyber Security Centre as part of an ongoing investigation, the BBC also reported.

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