Officials based out of the City of Del Rio, Texas, were forced to abandon all electronic services and go back to the days of pen and paper after a ransomware attack rendered City Hall servers useless.
The city was struck by the ransomware last Thursday, January 10, and the City’s M.I.S. (Management Information Services) Department quickly worked to isolate the ransomware by disabling the internet across all city departments and not allowing employees to log into government systems, leaving all transactions at City Hall to be done manually with paper.
Del Rio’s City Hall Public Relations Manager, Victoria Vargas, explained that the City turned off 30-45 of its computers following the detection of the ransomware. No details have been provided regarding who is behind the attack, the ransomware strains identity, or whether or not any personal data has been compromised.
However, Vargas did reveal that the malware was somewhat unusual, as the ransom note that posted to the City’s PCs contained a phone number to contact the attackers and pay the ransom fee.
The City published a press release on its website stating, “The City is diligently working on finding the best solution to resolve this situation and restore the system. We ask the public to be patient with us as we may be slower in processing requests at this time.”
The City is currently working with the Secret Service to attempt to determine who is responsible for the attack.
This is not the first time a local government has been taken offline by a ransomware attack. In March 2018, the City of Atlanta’s computer network was hit by a major ransomware attack that left the city scrambling to get operations back up and running for over a month. The incident left several internal and customer-facing applications disabled and left residents unable to pay bills or access court information.
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