It’s being considered one of the most significant cases of ransomware attack in recent memory. The city government’s spokesperson reiterated last week that the situation was under control. He further said that they would soon gain back control but it appears as if despite help from Microsoft and Cisco, they still haven’t. For two weeks, the city of Atlanta has been held hostage by a ransomware which was able to infect its city district office computers and effectively accomplish two tasks.
First, it as encrypted the city district’s entire database which means right now none of the city officials have any access to information regarding millions of its own citizens. Secondly, the perpetrators of this ransomware might have accessed confidential data files about the city’s citizens, such as criminal, medical and insurance records. There have multiple ransomware removal attempts that have all failed.
On Saturday, rumors began circulating that the city had given in to the hackers’ demands and paid the $51,000 ransom demanded. However, the city district’s headquarters’ computers remain encrypted which has resulted in speculation that the hackers had gone back on their promise. The mayor has so far declined to comment on the authenticity of the rumor.
As per the last update, the city officials were coordinating with the Feds, Microsoft and Cisco to repair ransomware files on some of the more vital PCs, but there has been no news about success in any of these cases.
The ransomware decryption of the city district has led to some vital services being disrupted such as the Department of Public Works and its website, ATL311. Some of the citizens have recorded their fears about this ransomware expanding to other such necessary services, such as 911. As a preventive measure, the officials at the city district have been advised not to turn on their computers. Hospitals and the Sherriff’s office have similarly turned off their servers temporarily.
The life in the city has come to a cyber standstill as citizens are being advised against using the public networks unless absolutely necessary. Officials are claiming that efforts to remove ransomware have been going round the clock and will continue until a breakthrough is made.