Atlanta Ransomware Attack Shows Cities Not Prepared for Long-Term Security Breaches

Nichole VegaMar 31, 2018

Mayor Bottoms said, "The City of Atlanta is now experiencing outages on various customer facing applications, including some that customers may use to pay bills or access court-related information".

Dell SecureWorks and Cisco Security, which are working to restore the city's systems, declined to comment on the attacks, citing client confidentiality.

Ransomware disables systems by encrypting critical data and then demanding payment for the unlock code, or else risk losing the data entirely.

Some services that are not available online can be accessed in person by coming to City of Atlanta offices. Conceivably, it's possible to hold a city's power or water for literal ransom in the very near future. But they can not say for sure whether SamSam is a single group of cybercriminals or a loose hacking collective.

Bottoms has not said publicly whether the city will pay the ransom-she told CNN that "everything is up for discussion".

Georgia-based cybersecurity firm Rendition Infosec revealed on its Twitter account Tuesday that five city computers were also hacked last April, when computers worldwide were compromised in a large and fast-moving cyberattack.

A month later, Russian state hackers deployed similar ransomware to paralyze computers in Ukraine on the eve of the country's independence day.

Officials from Atlanta Information Management, the city's technology department, realized the city had been attacked on March 22.

But few attacks have been as widespread as the one hitting Atlanta, which has a metro area of about six million people.

"The city of Loganville, which is in Gwinnett and Walton counties, announced it had been victimized in a Monday afternoon Facebook post - and said that [officials] believed breach "may involve [customers'] personal information".

However, they called it a ransomware attack. Some employees haven't even been taught how to spot phishing emails meant to trick them into opening ransomware.

"We are dealing with a hostage situation", Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a statement.

During the ransomware attack, local leaders have sometimes been able to do little but chuckle at a predicament that was forcing the city to turn the clock back decades.

"There's a lot of work that needs to be done with our digital infrastructure in the city of Atlanta and we know that year after year, that it's something that we have to focus on and certainly this has sped things up".

The mayor also attempted to make light of the situation-she told The New York Times the attack would be "a nice exercise in good penmanship" for her younger employees.

Related Articles:

« Previous article
Next article »

Popular Pages

Sorry Steve Smith takes 'full responsibility' for ball-tampering scandal
"Ultimately, it is about whether Australians can feel proud of their national sporting teams". "Speaking to my family, they've had enough of travelling 300 days".

Xbox Live Games with Gold for April 2018
It's a video game based on the movie, and is ideal for children. It might be overkill, but I don't want you missing out!

Roseanne Barr calls Trump phone call a 'thrill'
Barr on Thursday shared that she and Trump had spoken about TV ratings and that Trump had called to congratulate her. She added that she's not an apologist for the president and doesn't agree with all he's said and done.

'Roseanne' Revival Renewed For Season 2 By ABC, Comedy Series' 11th Overall
Trump has historically been highly attuned to television ratings, including his own as the host of NBC's "The Apprentice".

WLS looks to fill vacant school board seat
The following are responses from candidates for the Niangua Board of Education received by deadline. Morales recently announced her intention to retire at the end of the current school year.

Buffalo Bills stay patient in most recent FanSided NFL mock draft
If the Steelers draft BJ Hill, he will compete with Dan McCullers for the sixth defensive lineman role on the defense. Which, again, is fine, but when he then uses Allen's pro day as a reference to his accuracy, it's a bit contradictory.

David Warner apologises, takes responsibility in scandal
Bancroft initially claimed he had used adhesive tape and dirt to attempt to alter the shape of the ball. "I lied. Smith is booed and jeered as he's escorted through Johannesburg Airport for a flight home.

PlayStation VR Price Reduced by $100
Sony's PlayStation VR headset has been on the market for around 18 months now, but during that time, plenty has changed. There is no word on whether Sony will also drop the price on its other PS VR box that includes just the headset.

Jeremy Corbyn embroiled in new anti-Semitism row
Glassman, stated, "We accuse the Labour Party, its MPs and institutions, of complicity with and promotion of antisemitic racism". The spat about the mural is the latest in a series of incidents within the party that's raised the hackles of British Jews.

Apple iOS 11.3 rolls out: Battery Health tool, new Animoji, and more
Increased transparency is a smart move by the company given current concerns about tech companies and their use of personal data . By visiting Settings ⇾ Battery ⇾ Battery Health (Beta), users can now see a percentage representing the health of their battery.