Hackers Hit Atlanta with Ransomware Attack

Mar 26, 2018, 00:42
Hackers Hit Atlanta with Ransomware Attack

Hackers have shut down key systems across computers in Atlanta, preventing the city from processing payments or accessing courthouse information in one of the boldest ransomware attacks to date.

Senior officials have advised both businesses and consumers to monitor their bank accounts, saying anyone who has conducted business with the city is at risk.

- Fulton County government said they are blocking all electronic communications with the city of Atlanta following a ransomware cyberattack on the city's servers Thursday. Cox noted that while several city departments have been impacted, the departments of public safety, water services and airport are operating without incident.

But some applications that people use to pay bills or access court information were affected.

Officials in Atlanta and the FBI are investigating a large-scale cyber attack that encrypted some personal and financial data stored on city networks.

Apparently, the hacker is demanding the city pay $51,000 to unlock all the infected systems or $6,800 per unit, according to local news channel 11Alive. "This attack has encrypted some of the city's data, however we're still validating the extent of the compromise", Cox said. The city seems to be making "just in case" plans in anticipation that the systems could not be fully operational again for some time.

Those attackers were believed to have used tools developed by the US National Security Agency and leaked by a hacker group that calls itself the Shadow Brokers.

"This is a very serious situation", Bottoms stated at the news conference.

Officials have also stated they are working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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.

The City of Atlanta is the latest victim of a large-scale ransomware attack, though it could have been worse without the cloud, according Atlanta's chief information officer. But officials had yet to make a determination if it would pay the ransom.

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