Infected memory stick costs Ealing Council £500,000

A town hall employee who plugged an infected memory stick into a work computer wrecked a council’s IT system leaving it facing a bill of more than £500,000, the Daily Mail has reported.

A computer virus crippled Ealing Council’s computer system for several days after the memory stick was plugged in at its housing department in west London on 14 May.

A council report states: “At the point the memory stick was plugged in, the virus attacked the host PC.”

The council was left with a bill of around £501,000 for emergency IT work and lost revenue.

Its library service lost £25,000 because it could not issue fines and 1,838 parking tickets had to be written off, losing it £90,000.

The final bill could be more than £1m as the council is considering an upgrade to its computer system, which would cost £502,000.

A council spokesman said: “Like many other organisations, Ealing Council’s computer and telephone network was attacked by a sophisticated virus.

“The council acted immediately to protect all data and ensure that essential frontline services could continue to operate.

“Costs to the council included urgent work to recover computer systems and prevent the virus from spreading.”

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