Cyberattack update: impact on services

Hackney Town Hall

Council teams are working hard to recover systems and resolve the significant disruption caused by the serious cyberattack that has affected services since October.

The advanced, criminal attack remains under investigation by the Council, National Cyber Security Centre and National Crime Agency, in close cooperation with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Some services will be unavailable or operate differently for months, and the Council’s teams are doing everything possible to restore them. Vital services, including the Council’s coronavirus response work, continue to operate, but the effects of this criminal attack are having a significant impact on many residents. Wherever possible, Council teams are creating new or temporary ways to run systems differently and the Council will continue to share updates on the recovery of services through its website and regular newsletters. 

What’s still disrupted?

Land searches and planning applications

We remain unable to process land searches for residents buying property, and this service is unlikely to be fully available before the end of the stamp duty holiday in March 2021. 

We hope to offer a partial service in the coming weeks, and have written to applicants and agents this week to outline which elements of the service are publicly available, and which we expect to offer as a partial land search service. Affected residents should speak to their lender or mortgage broker about taking out indemnity insurance. Visit the Land Searches page for more information.

Planning applications submitted before 1 October cannot be processed, and applicants are being contacted directly by the Planning Service, with advice provided on the best way forward. In some cases, this involves re-submission of applications on the Council’s new planning system. Some applications received before 1 October have now been resubmitted using the new system and are progressing towards a decision.

Ordering and reporting

Disruption to normal systems used to process reports such as noise nuisance, anti-social behaviour and missed waste collections means responses and investigations may be slower than usual.

Residents can email recycling@hackney.gov.uk or call 020 8356 6688 to order recycling bags, food waste bins and report a missed collection.


The online portal for paying rent, paying service charges and checking your balance is temporarily unavailable, as well as the Council’s One Account system.

Many payment options are unaffected and are safe and secure to use, such as online payments through our multiple payments portal, over the 24/7 automated phone payment system by calling 020 8356 5050, online bank transfer and at a bank, Post Office or Paypoint location.

We currently cannot accept some forms of payment, amend existing payment schedules both to and from the Council or make certain one-off payments.

Some direct debit payments are being processed in line with the most recent payment on your account. In a small number of cases where this varies slightly from the agreed amount for the next payment, this will be reflected in future payment schedules.

Business rate payments that were due to be taken by direct debit on 1 November have been taken today, and those due on 14 November will be taken on 23 November.

New applications for benefits such as Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, or Discretionary Housing Payments are being processed more slowly than normal. Approved claims will be backdated to date of application. If you have submitted an application but need urgent assistance, contact the benefits service on 020 8356 3399.

Find out more about how services for Council tenants and leaseholders are affected.


If you’re worried about the safety of a child or adult, it’s really important that you continue to report your concerns. Find out what to do if you’re worried about a child or young person, or an adult.