City of London’s Neo-Liberal Politics Raise Cyber Attack Risks For Residents

Following our coverage earlier this year of the City of London website being off-line over and after the May bank holiday – and according to rumour due to a cyber attack – it’s interesting to see the business press today reporting the massive scale of such attacks on this rotten borough. Current coverage stresses this as a danger to residents while perhaps unconsciously implying links between our local authority’s peculiar and undemocratic role in international finance and an even greater criminal threat to locals than is found elsewhere in London and across the UK, by invoking attacks on the European Central Bank. While all councils are subject to cyber attacks, it seems that the City of London is a more inviting target because of its status as perhaps the richest neo-liberal lobbyist in the world. In the interest not just of democratic accountability but also of everyone’s safety – and especially that of residents – the City’s business vote system needs to be abolished and its neo-liberal lobbying stopped once and for all. The business vote system prevents local residents having a democratic say in how their local authority is run, and ensures instead that power lies in the hands of the finance and legal industries – who chose to run the council for the benefit of global corporations and the global super rich and against the interests of both the overwhelming majority of those who actually live in the City and billions worldwide. Here’s a couple of business press stories stressing the threat to residents, commuters and tourists, of cyber attacks on the City of London council:

Cyber criminals have their sights set on bigger and bigger targets, hitting the European Central Bank (ECB) twice in the past five years, and now launching a relentless attack on the City of London Corporation.

According to findings released under Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation, the municipal governing body of the City of London was hit with nearly three million attacks in just the first three months of 2019. This war of attrition has put 10,000 residents of the City of London in the line of fire, as well as 10 million annual tourists and 400,000 daily commuters entering the city.

In total, over 2.7 million attacks were logged between January and March of this year – an average of 927,000 per month – as stated in a press release from software company Centrify. By comparison, almost 4.4 million attacks were recorded from April to December of 2018, with an average of just under 500,000 per month.

These figures reveal that the monthly average of recorded spam, spoof mail, and malware has more than doubled since 2018.

The City of London responded that in the period covering April 2018 to March 2019, it has been hit by just over seven million cyber attacks. A large majority of the attacks (6.9 million) fall into the ‘spam’ category, while over 240,000 were recorded as ‘spoof mail.’ There were also 17,556 instances where ‘top malware’ was detected.

“The high volume of sensitive public information contained within the systems and databases of organisations like the City of London Corporation make it a top target for hackers and cyber criminals,” said Andy Heather, VP at Centrify.

“Malicious email scams such as phishing and malware attacks form a substantial part of the wider cyber threat facing councils across the country, in London and beyond. With so many attacks taking place every day, it’s vital that all organisations adopt a zero-trust approach to user activity, to prevent hackers gaining access to council systems using legitimate log-in details that may have been stolen or purchased on the dark web.”

City of London target of nearly three million cyberattacks by Alicja Grzadkowska, Insurance Business Magazine, 23 August 2019: https://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/uk/news/cyber/city-of-london-target-of-nearly-three-million-cyberattacks-176076.aspx

And:

Cyber criminals have launched nearly three million attacks on the City of London Corporation, the municipal governing body of the City of London, in the first three months of 2019, according to official figures.

The findings, which were released under Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation, paint a disturbing picture of the threats posed to the 10,000 residents of the CoL as well as 10 million annual tourists and 400,000 daily commuters who enter the city….

City of London Corporation hit with nearly one million cyber attacks every month by Barney Cotton, Business Leader, 23 August 2019: https://www.businessleader.co.uk/city-of-london-corporation-hit-with-nearly-one-million-cyber-attacks-every-month/72219/

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