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Cedar Falls, Iowa, Officials Probe June Ransomware Attack

Services affected in the incident, detected June 19, have been restored, and the incident did not “materially” affect the city’s service provision, according to a statement. It’s unclear how far the attack went before it was detected.

(TNS) — Cedar Falls officials are investigating a ransomware event that was detected last month, according to a news release issued Wednesday.

“The event has not materially affected the City of Cedar Falls' ability to provide public services. Following a short period of controlled downtime, all affected services have been restored at this time,” the prepared statement reads.

The matter was directed to the city’s attorney and cybersecurity professionals, and the FBI was notified.

It wasn’t clear how far the ransomware attack progressed before it was detected or if the city paid a ransom to resolve the issue.


The attack was detected on June 19. City officials said it appears the unauthorized activity was limited.

“We are investigating whether the persons responsible for the event had access to any personal information during the course of the event. If we determine any personal information may have been affected, we will notify any such individuals,” the city’s statement said.

Typical ransomware attacks involve hackers gaining access to an organization’s computer network, usually by uploading a malicious software program that encrypts or otherwise blocks the data.

The hackers then demand payment to release the data.

The FBI recommends people and companies take the following steps to minimize the chance of a ransomware attack:

  • Keep operating systems, software, and applications current and up to date.

  • Make sure anti-virus and anti-malware solutions are set to automatically update and run regular scans.

  • Back up data regularly and double-check that those backups were completed.

  • Secure your backups. Make sure they are not connected to the computers and networks they are backing up.

  • Create a continuity plan in case your business or organization is the victim of a ransomware attack.

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