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Another Local Gov in Metro Atlanta Suffers Cyberattack

Cyberattacks have recently targeted the computer system in Dunwoody, Ga., which makes that community the latest in a growing list of metro Atlanta communities that have weathered such assaults.

(TNS) — Cyber attackers recently targeted the computer system in the city of Dunwoody, Ga., adding to the growing list of metro Atlanta governments that have come under siege online

Dunwoody officials said Thursday that no data was compromised during the ransomware attack, which was detected on Christmas Eve and is now under investigation by the FBI. The intrusion was quickly identified by staff, which worked with the city’s computer security contractors at InterDev to shut down servers and disconnect computers in order to limit the impact of the attack. 

“As soon as we detected a problem, we took immediate steps to protect the city’s infrastructure,” Ashley Smith, InterDev’s director of government services, said in a news release. “Data back-ups were used to fully restore systems with no loss.”

Dunwoody police Chief Billy Grogan said the attackers demanded a ransom be paid in bitcoin, a digital currency. He declined to reveal the amount requested but said the city did not pay.

A handful of computers and servers had to be wiped clean and it was a few days before the city’s full computer network was back up and running, Grogan said.

In the meantime, the police department had to revert back to the analog days, writing tickets and reports by hand and relying radio communications instead of email.

“We continued providing services and protecting our community,” Grogan said. 

The attack made Dunwoody just the last metro Atlanta government to be targeted by cyber attackers in recent years. 

The city of Atlanta’s system was attacked in March 2018, crippling the network for days. In that attack, the city refused to pay a $51,000 ransom reportedly demanded by Iranian hackers

Last July brought a series of other cyberattacks: first on the Georgia Administrative Office of the Courts, then the Lawrenceville Police Department, the Henry County government and the Georgia Department of Public Safety.

©2020 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.