The city of Atlanta has been hit by a ransomware attack. The FBI is working with the City of Atlanta to determine what is causing problems on the city’s computer network.
“The City of Atlanta is currently experiencing outages on various internal and customer facing applications, including some applications that customers use to pay bills or access court-related information,” a city spokesperson said. “We are confident that our team of technology professionals will be able to restore applications soon. Our City website, Atlantaga.gov, remains accessible and we will provide updates as we receive them.”
The spokesperson would not confirm reports that a hacker had demanded payment in return for unlocking the system, but it has been reported via Twitter and other social media sites that the amount is $50,000.
“We are currently investigating,” the city spokesperson said. The city network has been compromised,” the statement said. “If you have not already, please unplug your Ethernet cable from your desktop in an effort to prevent possible corruption, but the damage may already have been done. Unfortunately, this may affect payroll. Please let everyone know that this problem is being aggressively addressed.”
The city is working with Microsoft and Cisco, but in my opinion, that is not going to help. They will have to restore from backup and hope that they have a good recent backup. The hackers have become so advanced, they hit the backups as well. The other choice is to pay the ransom, and hopefully, that is not an option for the city of Atlanta.
As an IT person, I feel for them. This is a terrible situation to be in, and it’s wrong on so many levels. Problem is, that’s the world we live in today. Sad, but true.