People’s private information may be in the hands of Russian hackers due to the cyber attack which has affected online services at Gloucester City Council.

The local authority became aware their IT systems had been compromised on December 20.

And since then, the operation of the council’s online revenue and benefits, planning and customer services have been affected.

The council has been working with the National Crime Agency and the National Cyber Security Centre to understand more about the attack.

Insiders say the attack has been linked to hackers in the former Soviet Union and opposition councillors have been calling for more transparency from council leaders.

And councillors are also seriously worried that hackers may have gained access to people’s personal information.

Councillor Terry Pullen (Lab, Moreland) asked performance and resources cabinet member Hannah Norman (Con, Quedgeley Fieldcourt) last night (January 27) to give an assurance that no personal information has been compromised as a result of the recent cyber incident.

“I’m seriously worried and concerned,” he told the council meeting.

“I ask the question as it’s clearly in the public interest. Members of the public have a right to know whether or not there has been a breach of their personal information.

However, Cllr Norman said the council was unable to comment on the nature or detail of the incident.

“As you have been unable to give us an answer, we must assume that there is a risk that personal information may have been breached and compromised,” Cllr Pullen replied.

“I must ask, in the public interest and on behalf of the residents of Gloucester and everyone who is contracted and has shared information with the city council, that you make a statement to the public that personal information could have been breached.

“This is so that people can be aware and take appropriate action.”

Councillor Norman said the council is following the advice from the National Cyber Security Centre and National Crime Agency.

“And that advice is that we can currently give no further information than we’ve already released,” she said.