By Gerry Hand

 

All tablets belonging to Meath county councillors have been wiped clean today in what is a suspected hacking.

 

The tablets, which are issued to members when they are elected, failed to work this morning and anxious councillors have received a message informing them that the council IT department is investigating the incident.

 

There are major concerns among the elected representatives over what has happened as many confidential emails between them and their constituents have disappeared.

 

Independent Alan Lawes told Meath Live, ‘Every interaction I have had, via email, with a constituent since I was elected over a year ago has vanished.

 

‘It’s worrying as now nobody knows who may have seen them, or even worse if they have gone for good or whether we’ll be able to get them back again.’

 

The major fear is that the incident could be a cyber attack as four years ago the council system was hacked and a substantial amount of money transferred from their bank account to an account in Hong Kong.

 

The sophisticated attempt to steal €4.309 million was detected before the transaction was completed.

The council’s bank was alerted and the matter was reported to the gardaí who provided assistance through the Financial Intelligence Unit in the National Economic Crime Bureau and through Interpol.

 

The majority of that money has subsequently been recovered.

 

Meath county council have not yet responded to a request for comment