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Kansas City, Mo., Still Hampered After Cyber Attack

Nearly two weeks after a cyber attack struck the city of Kansas City’s website, contractors still can’t get building permits online and some zoning matters are going unheard.

Kansas City
(TNS) — Nearly two weeks after a cyberattack on Kansas City’s website, contractors still can’t get building permits. Zoning matters are going unheard.

And customers still can’t pay their water bills online, prompting the city to announce it would provide a 30-day grace period to those who don’t normally pay through regular mail. To make it easier for them, the water department is including prepaid envelopes in bills so customers won’t need a stamp.

At an afternoon news conference outside City Hall on Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Quinton Lucas stressed that residents continue to receive most basic city services, such as police and fire protection and trash pickup.

But he offered no estimate when things will be back to normal and would not comment when asked whether the city’s computer system was the victim of a ransomware attack like those that have affected other local governments and school districts in recent months.

“As our investigation continues, it’s important that we avoid spreading incorrect information or discussing unconfirmed details,” he said from prepared written remarks. “Safeguarding the city’s systems and ensuring uninterrupted operations are going to continue to be our top priorities, and we will diligently work to evaluate the complete impact on our operations.”

The cyberattack caused officials to shut down some of the city’s computer operations nearly two weeks ago. The city’s website went back online last Wednesday with limited function, and one week later, its capabilities remain limited.

All of the city’s governing sessions were called off last week but resumed Tuesday when the public was once again able to watch council members conduct business in committee meetings via Zoom and You Tube.

Lucas said more city functions will come online when officials can be assured it is safe to do so. Lucas asked for the public’s patience and cooperation. He said the city’s information technology workers acted quickly to head off bigger problems by walling off the city’s computer systems as soon as evidence of a possible malware attack was detected.

“We’re doing a very thorough investigation, and the reality of what we face these days is that these challenges arise, we’re making sure that we address them as quickly as possible,” he said.

Law enforcement agencies continue to investigate the cause of the disruption.

© 2024 The Kansas City Star. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.