Could other local authorities be at risk after attempt to steal €4.3m from Meath County Council?

It is feared more local authorities could be vulnerable to cyber attacks following a hack on Meath County Council.

Could other local authorities be at risk after attempt to steal €4.3m from Meath County Council?

It is feared more local authorities could be vulnerable to cyber attacks following a hack on Meath County Council.

There are calls for a full international criminal investigation, following the attempted cyber theft of €4.3m from the body.

It is understood the transaction was stopped before it completed and that the funds frozen in a Hong Kong bank account after Gardaí and Interpol intervened.

It is further understood the local authority was the victim of "CEO fraud" - the latest trend in identity theft - where hackers contact a junior member of staff pretending to be the chief executive asking for money to be transferred abroad.

Fianna Fáil TD for Meath East Thomas Byrne said he wanted assurances that freezing the council's funds would not cause other problems.

"This is showing a weakness in our systems that has to be addressed…I will be seeking assurances that security is at the highest possible level in Meath County Council, and that it's at that level in all our public bodies," he said.

"Assurances will also have to be given that vital public services are not at risk, either temporarily or permanently, as a result of this money being out of the Council's account for the last number of weeks.

"We need to ensure that nothing that should be done is not being done because of this."

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