Cyberattack Continues to Plague the City of Atlanta
It is one of the largest cyberattacks against a major U.S. city.
- By Sydny Shepard
- Mar 30, 2018
A week ago, the government computers in Atlanta, Georgia were hit with a cyberattack that has continued to wreak havoc on the city for the last eight days.
Since the City of Atlanta has been hit by the cyberattack, they have been allowed to turn on and use the government desktops, hard drives and printers, but residents have found that they can no longer pay their traffic tickers or water bills online, or report potholes or graffiti on the city's website, according to the New York Times. Travelers flying through Georgia's international airport still cannot use the free WiFi.
Atlanta's municipal government, which serves nearly six million people, was hit by a ransomeware attack that cripples their computers or network and blocks access to important data until a ransom has been paid. The attack shows just how much municipal governments rely on their computer networks for day-to-day operations.
Threat researchers at Dell SecureWorks, the Atlanta-based security firm helping the city respond to the ransomeware attack, identified the assailants as the "SamSam" hacking crew. The SamSam groups is known for choosing targets that are the most likely to accede to its high ransom demands, in this case they are asking for $51,000.
There were some systems that were not affected, including those for 911 calls and control of wastewater treatment, but other arms of city government have been scrambling for days. The Atlanta Municipal Court has been unable to validate warrants, police officers are writing reports by hand, the city has stopped taking employment applications.
The Mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, has not said whether or not the city will pay the ransom.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.