The City of Oakland, California was hit with a nasty surprise on Friday when they announced that they were caught with their pants down and had to shut down some of their systems due to a ransomware attack.
The cyberattack caught the City of Oakland off guard, according to the incident notification released by the city’s administration. The attack hit late Wednesday night and caused network disruptions when systems were unplugged from the internet.
Though non-emergency services like voicemail have hit a snag and gone offline, thankfully the crucial emergency services like 911 and fire departments haven’t missed a beat.
Oakland’s IT crew is pulling out all the stops, joining forces with the powers that be, to get to the bottom of this mess and bring back the disrupted services to life. However, there’s no word on when everything will be up and running like a well-oiled machine.
The city has come clean about the fact that a ransomware attack was the cause of their problems, but they’re keeping mum on the specifics, such as the type of ransomware that was used or whether any data was lifted in the process.
However, ransomware attacks often come hand in hand with data theft, as the perpetrators aim to sweeten the pot by threatening to spill the beans on stolen information unless their ransom demands are met.
Ransomware attacks on US cities and counties have been happening for years, and they’ve become old hat. Numerous attacks have caused critical services to shut down and even affected election systems and school districts, leaving no stone unturned.
While some cities caved into the ransom demands and paid up, like Florence City, Lake City, and Riviera Beach City, others took a hard line and stood their ground, sometimes with dire consequences. The City of Atlanta, for example, refused to fork over the $51,000 ransom and ended up shelling out millions to get their systems up and running again.
Conclusion to the city of Oakland ransomware attack
In conclusion, the City of Oakland in California recently fell prey to a ransomware attack, forcing it to take some systems offline. Although voicemail and other non-emergency services were affected, no critical or emergency services such as 911 and fire departments were impacted.
The IT team is working with authorities to investigate the incident and restore services, but no timeline has been provided for full functionality. The city disclosed that ransomware was used in the attack, but did not provide details on the type of ransomware or if any data theft had occurred.
Ransomware attacks targeting US cities and counties have been a growing issue over the past several years, often resulting in the shutdown of critical services and impacting election systems and school districts. Some cities have paid the ransom, while others have not, with varying outcomes. The City of Atlanta chose not to pay the ransom but ended up spending millions to recover the impacted systems.