April 24, 2018

Ransomware Attack Strikes Atlanta City Government

26 March 2018, 12:38 | Camille Rivera

City of Atlanta confirms 'ransomware cyber attack' on network servers

Atlanta City Ransomware Puts Personal Data at Risk

The city of Atlanta government has apparently become the victim of a ransomware attack.

City officials have said they are confident that their team of technology professionals will be able to restore applications soon.

He said that public safety, water services and airport operations departments have not been affected, nor has the city's payroll.

The local government put up a notice shortly after explaining that it was "currently experiencing outages on various internal and customer-facing applications, including some applications that customers use to pay bills or access court-related information".

"We don't know the extent or if anyone's personal data or bank accounts will be compromised".

City officials didn't disclose the amount of the requested ransom or if they meant to pay, but Bottoms said they were seeking help from federal agencies.

NBC affiliate WXIA reported the ransom request was around $51,000 to unlock the entire system. They could easily decide to continue holding your data hostage until they are paid even more, leave themselves a backdoor to encrypt your data again at a later time, or encourage them to target other enterprises.

Asked whether the attack was ongoing or if it had been stopped, Rackley said: "We're still in incident management mode, which means that we're still on the look-out that other threat vector management systems aren't being compromised".

"Because we don't know, I think it would appropriate for citizens to be vigilante in checking their accounts", she said.

The FBI, US Department of Homeland Security and Secret Service have been called on "for guidance".

But at a press conference led by city mayor Keisha Bottoms, officials confirmed that they are still attempting to understand the extent of the incident, together with experts from Cisco and Microsoft. Police Chief Erika Shields said her department has not been included in the hack, but it is taking precautions anyway.

The city plans to move systems to a more secure platform, but won't release the time frame for that move, said Chief Information Officer Daphne Rackley at the press conference.

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