Leicester City Cyber Attack Leads to Street Light Burning All Day & Night

Residents of Leicester have been facing an unusual urban phenomenon: street lights that stay lit day and night.

This issue stems from a severe cyber attack that targeted Leicester City Council’s IT systems, leading to a series of disruptions in city services, including street lighting management.

The persistent glow of street lights has become a significant concern for the locals. Roger Ewens, a 65-year-old resident of Beaumont Leys, was among the first to notice the anomaly.

The lights in his area have been burning continuously, causing environmental concerns and financial worries about the increased energy consumption.

“The lights in my area have been burning away all day and all night, so it’s got to be costing a lot,” Ewens commented.

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Council Response

The Leicester City Council has acknowledged the problem, attributing it to the March 7, 2024, cyber attack.

According to a Leicester Mercury report, the attack shut down the council’s IT systems, including the central management system that controls street lighting.

A council spokesperson explained, “We are aware of several streetlights staying on during the day.

This is due to a technical issue connected to the recent cyber attack.

We are currently unable to identify faults in the street lighting system remotely.

” The council has assured the public that they are taking steps to resolve the issue, but the process is expected to take some time.

The default mode for faults is that the lights stay on to ensure that roads are not left entirely unlit, which could become a safety concern.

Ransomware Group

The cyber attack was orchestrated by a ransomware group known for targeting public sector entities.

This group disrupted the city’s services and leaked confidential documents online, including rent statements and applications to buy council houses.

The identity of the group has not been disclosed as investigations are ongoing.

The attack highlights the growing threat of ransomware attacks on critical public infrastructure and the need for enhanced cybersecurity measures.

Timeline of Events

  • March 7, 2024: Cyber attack occurs, crippling Leicester City Council’s IT systems.
  • Following weeks: Issues with street lighting emerge as a direct consequence of the attack.
  • April 22, 2024: Public acknowledgment of the street lighting issue linked to the cyber attack.
  • End of April 2024: Anticipated resolution of the street lighting malfunction, as per council communications.

The situation in Leicester is a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities in modern urban infrastructure and the cascading effects that can result from cyber attacks.

As the city works towards a resolution, the incident underscores the importance of robust cybersecurity frameworks to safeguard public services against such disruptive threats.

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Divya is a Senior Journalist at Cyber Security news covering Cyber Attacks, Threats, Breaches, Vulnerabilities and other happenings in the cyber world.