Wiltshire Council staff no longer wear fitbits or take phones to meetings

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a park bench in Salisbury on March 4 last year Sergei Skripal “We were asked to remove and lock various devices working via Bluetooth; for example pedometers and fitness bracelets.”British cyber security experts said most of the attacks occurred in the first five months after the poisoning of Sergei Skripal.Mr Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a park bench in Salisbury on March 4 last year after they were poisoned by the Novichok nerve agent.As well as the Skripals, DS Nick Bailey and Charlie Rowley also fell ill after being contaminated by Novichok and Dawn Sturgess, Mr Rowley’s partner, died last July after she came into contact with the nerve agent.Russia has denied any involvement in the attack.    The IT systems of Wiltshire Police also came under attack because they use the computer resources of the local administration, he said.The first attacks on the the council network was so strong it had to urgently ask for help from GCHQ, the BBC reported.Mr Cunningham said: ”We were told to hold meetings in a sterile setting.”That is, essentially, the old fashioned way – without mobile phones and other high-tech pieces. Wiltshire Council has revealed staff can no longer wear Fitbits or take their mobile phones into meetings after a spate of cyber attacks in the wake of the Salisbury poisonings.The council’s executive director, Alistair Cunningham, said the authority was subjected to “well-coordinated” attacks from abroad following the attempted assassination of former double agent Sergei Skripal in March last year.Mr Cunningham said the spate of cyber attacks meant staff were forced to stop wearing Bluetooth devices such as Fitbit bracelets in council meetings.He told the BBC: “‘As soon as we hit the headlines, the number of cyber attacks on our system increased tenfold.”They were attempts to break through our firewall, go to the internal network, pick up passwords to employees’ email.”In the hottest days, we received 90,000 attacks a day.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more