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Sammamish, Wash., Declares Emergency After Cyberattack

The ransomware attack Jan. 23 forced city computers to be taken offline and prompted an emergency declaration from interim City Manager Larry Patterson. The extent of the damage is not yet known.

by Asia Fields, The Seattle Times / January 24, 2019

(TNS) — The city of Sammamish, Wash., declared an emergency on Wednesday in response to a ransomware attack on the city’s computer system.

The emergency declaration by interim City Manager Larry Patterson allowed the city to bring in a third-party security expert without having to go through the standard contracting process, the city said in a statement.

It also raised Patterson’s spending authority to exceed $50,000 without City Council approval, Sammamish Mayor Christie Malchow said in a tweet.

The attack was discovered Wednesday morning and has affected internal shared files, city spokeswoman Sharon Gavin said. Computers at City Hall were shut down for much of Wednesday, she said.

City officials haven’t yet determined the full extent of the attack but have taken down a building-permit portal and map services as a precaution, Gavin said. Residents will need to go in to City Hall to access those services, she said.

The city will release more information as the situation develops, Gavin said.

©2019 The Seattle Times. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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