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Paper-Based Payments Continue in Cyber-Struck Birmingham

Some city sources have attributed a cyber incident in early March to ransomware, although the municipality has only called it a “network disruption.” Birmingham is using paper-based processes to pay staff, but public effects may be more minor.

Cybersecurity: Managing Risk
New details emerged Tuesday about a March cyber incident that has disrupted Birmingham, Ala., government services.

The municipality first reported a “disruption of the city’s computer network” by press release on March 6 — an incident some city sources now are deeming a ransomware incident, according to

“It’s incredibly serious,” one source told the news outlet. And government employees are still feeling impacts.

City payroll systems are unavailable, prompting Birmingham to revert to manual processes and paper time sheets to chart worker hours. Birmingham Firefighters Association president Stephen R. Cook told workers cannot confirm if they’re being paid correctly because they are not receiving pay stubs. The city previously assured employees they would continue being paid and that the incident was not believed to have exposed their sensitive data.

Despite the disruption to government, effects on the general public may be more minor.

“To our knowledge, it’s not having a big effect on residents,” Councilor Valerie Abbott told But, she added, the disruption is affecting businesses and people seeking permits.

The city had originally said the event was impacting both online and in-person services, including those related to taxing, permitting, licensing and 311. The police department was also affected — police lost access to services involved in checking for warrants or reports of stolen vehicles, reported.

City officials had to resort to cash or check transactions and other temporary workarounds, per Recorded Future. However, 911, police and fire services were unaffected, the city said on X on March 14, as were bulk trash pickup and household garbage pickup services.

In the days since, some systems have been restored. On March 22, Birmingham announced a temporary 311 number. Residents are now once again able to make digital payments for city permits, per

This isn’t the only cyber incident to strike the region in recent weeks. Alabama state websites suffered a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that began March 12.