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New Orleans Is Confident Data Can Be Recovered After Attack

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a press conference Monday that the current recovery procedures are working in response to the citywide cyberattack that targeted public computers Friday.

by NOLA Media Group / December 17, 2019
Shutterstock/Timofeev Vladimir

(TNS) — New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a press conference Monday that the current recovery procedures are working in response to the citywide cyber attack on public computers Friday.

Cantrell went on stage with the New Orleans Chief Information Officer Kim LaGrue, Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson and other officials to provide updates on recovery plans, investigations and current statuses of public computers and digital processes.

The FBI is currently working with New Orleans officials on forensic investigations. Officials are not sure of when the computers will be back to normal; however, they plan to work with 50 state volunteers tomorrow to scrub the computers.

The cyber attack hit early Friday morning, and officials shut down computers throughout the city to limit the damage.

LaGrue said earlier this week that there was evidence that the attackers were using phishing -- sending emails that seek to persuade recipients to reveal passwords and usernames -- as well as ransomware, which involves shutting users out of their own computers unless they pay a fee.

City websites remained down over the weekend as the city recovered from the effects of the attack, as about 4,000 computers were scrubbed.

New Orleans Police Department detectives operated on personal computers from home Monday as a substitute, but were unable to access essential law enforcement networks as a result.

These networks possess license plate information, police reports and background check programs -- all of which are unable to be processed as the city attempts to navigate.

New Orleans police are handwriting all police reports, arrest warrants and search warrants for the time being.

Emergency calls to the 9-1-1 system, which is on a separate computer system, are not affected by the shutdown, officials said.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s office said in a news release Monday that City Hall would reopen for a full day of business on Tuesday.

Cantrell’s office said people seeking services through 3-1-1 can do so online temporarily at www.nola311.org.

©2019 NOLA Media Group, New Orleans. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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