City of Atlanta targeted by ransomware cyberattack
Mar 26 2018
The city government of Atlanta, Georgia, reports that their computer system was targeted by hackers in a ransomware attack. City officials have warned employees and citizens who have used the computer system to monitor their bank accounts and to change their passwords. City officials first received the hacker's ransom note early Thursday morning amid the system outages, which continue to persist. There hasn't been any evidence that suggest the city's 911 response networks, water department or Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport computer systems were affected in the attack.
The city's official Twitter account announced that the city government "is now experiencing outages on various customer facing applications, including some that customers may use to pay bills or access court-related information".
Mayor Keisha Bottoms said the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had been informed of the cyberattack and urged all Atlanta residents "to be vigilant". When asked if the city would pay a ransom to resolve the issue, Bottoms said the city would seek guidance from federal authorities on the best course of action. CNN and 11Alive have reported the ransom demands bitcoin for $6,800 per unit, or $51,000, to unlock the system. An article by Microsoft details that "it provides the city with Azure and Azure Government cloud platforms, Power BI data analytics and other MS technologies".
"This is a very serious situation", Bottoms said.
Officials representing the city of Atlanta, GA, confirmed yesterday that some of their constituent-facing networks, including the billing and court systems, had been hit by an encryption ransomware attack.
"All of us our subject to this attack", Atlanta's mayor said.
The city discovered the attack after the security team "noticed something that looked peculiar", on a server, says Daphne Rackley, deputy CISO. "We have been taking measure to mitigate risk". We don't know if it's information related to just our employees or if it's more extensive than that.
"Because we don't know, I think it would appropriate for citizens to be vigilante in checking their accounts", she said.