Wednesday, 18 September, 2019

Hackers Shut Down Government Computers In Atlanta, Demand Bitcoin

City of Atlanta experiencing cyber attack Hackers Shut Down Government Computers In Atlanta, Demand Bitcoin
Shannon Reynolds | 24 March, 2018, 10:07

Officials say the city of Atlanta's computer network has been the victim of a ransomware cyberattack.

Atlanta COO Richard Cox confirmed the attack in a news conference Thursday afternoon. According to DHS officials, the attack hit the city at around 5 a.m.Thursday morning and officials informed the public hours later.

In a ransomware attack, hackers place malware on a computer - or system of computers - that restricts access, and then demand payment to undo it.

She verified that this is the first time the City of Atlanta has been attacked by ransomware.

An official statement read: "The City of Atlanta is now experiencing outages on various internal and customer facing applications, including some applications that customers use to pay bills or access court-related information".

"This is not a new issue to the state of Georgia, it's not a new issue to our country".

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"Again, we're in deep investigation and incident management mode so we don't have any details that can be released, but as was articulated by the mayor and the COO, we feel confident that we're doing the right things and will continue to be transparent", Rackley said. "All of us are subject to this attack, if you will".

They urged employees to check their bank accounts to make sure their financial information had not been accessed and said that anyone who had conducted transactions with the city could be at risk.

Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields said that her department's emergency response system had not been affected at all. 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.

Security experts and law enforcement officials do not typically recommend paying the ransom demands of digital crooks-but acknowledge it's a complex scenario.

"It's a wakeup call and it's not ultimately that harmful so there's a clear silver lining for municipalities" because it could motivate the city to put resources and political will behind making its networks more secure, he said.

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