The attack, which occurred over the weekend, resulted in “technical difficulties and disruption to multiple services” but was discovered and halted “before it could infect the full city network,” the city manager said.
BY MIKE GENET, THE EXAMINER / DECEMBER 9, 2020
(TNS) — Independence city staff were working Monday morning to recover from an apparent ransomware attack on the city’s technology over the weekend.
In a statement, City Manager Zach Walker said the attack resulted in “technical difficulties and disruption to multiple services” but was discovered and halted “before it could infect the full city network.”
A ransomware attack is a form of cyberattack that locks up a computer or computer system, which can severely hamper an organization’s operations, especially if the organization can’t access a backup system. The hackers then typically demand a ransom, often paid in some form of cryptocurrency to avoid detection, before they unlock the computer system to allow access again. Cities, school systems and national and global companies have been hit by such attacks in recent years.
The city initially did not specify what services had been affected or respond to a question of whether any “ransom” had been involved, but it later posted on social media that the city’s online bill payment system was temporarily down. The city announced last week that it had suspended late fees for bill payments as well as commercial utility shutoffs. The city added Monday that it was suspending residential utility shutoffs as well.