Mississippi City Operations Disrupted by Ransomware Attack

The city of Pascagoula was targeted by ransomware in late November. Officials say the incident was immediately contained by the city’s IT contractor and that critical systems were largely unaffected.

by Margaret Baker, The Sun Herald / December 10, 2019
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(TNS) — The city of Pascagoula is dealing with a cyberattack, according to city officials.

The hackers asked for a ransom payment and compromised the city’s computer system, interrupting access to some city information as well as shutting down some phone lines.

The attack took place Nov. 28, and security and technology experts are working to rectify the situation.

“The city of Pascagoula was infected with a malware payload from a third-party contractor connected to the city’s infrastructure,” Acting City Manager Frank Corder said Monday. “The situation was immediately quarantined, contained, investigated and remediated by the city’s IT contractor. No critical systems suffered data loss and no ransom was paid due to this event.”

The city did not say what the ransom amount was, but said the city did not pay it.

“Emails and critical data were not lost in the event, only temporarily shut down,” Corder said Monday. “Some systems had to be reworked, which is why certain phones and systems are still impacted but the city is nearly fully functional at this juncture.”

The cyberattack affected the police department’s computer system as well.

As a result, police officers are doing their paperwork on pen and paper until they are able to access the system again to file reports electronically.

Police Chief Matt Chapman said the department’s data is backed up, so once the problem is rectified, police will be able to access reports and other information already on file.

The city does not believe any personal information was compromised in the attack.

©2019 The Sun Herald (Biloxi, Miss.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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