BALLARAT City Council has assured ratepayers that corporate databases containing confidential data have not been illegally accessed.This follows the shut-down of council's information technology networks last Monday after a resident came forward with claims the system had been hacked.Council chief executive officer Anthony Schinck said a thorough examination of council's technology networks by security specialists had shown that no confidential ratepayer information stored in its corporate databases was accessed."To the extent to which it is possible, our experts have also determined that no viruses or other potentially damaging files were embedded in the system which might cause problems in the future," Mr Schinck said."Ratepayers can be confident that internal security measures within the system have protected all personal ratepayer information stored by council."A 21-year-old Ballarat man was charged last Thursday with four computer-related offences over the incident.His arrest came after a police investigation involving the E-Crime Squad and Ballarat Criminal Investigation Unit.Mr Schinck said specialist information technology staff were currently rebuilding the system, which would include new security walls."We expect to be back online by today," he said."I am very proud of the way in which our staff have responded to ensure that despite this unfortunate incident, our delivery of services to the public has gone ahead without interruption."Computer crimes are a serious offence and council is working closely with Victoria Police on its investigation into this unauthorised entry into our information technology networks." The 21-year-old man was bailed to appear at the Ballarat Magistrates Court on November 29.