Atlanta ransomware attack: Other cities seen as vulnerable

Atlanta ransomware attack: Other cities seen as vulnerable

Atlanta ransomware attack: Other cities seen as vulnerable

Atlanta is still struggling with its ability to collect online payments of bills and fees, officials said on Monday, four days after a ransomware attack snarled the computer system of Georgia's capital city.

Last week, Atlanta city was hit by a massive ransomware attack which affected the city's computer network massively.

"This is much bigger than a ransomware attack", Bottoms said. Wi-fi at the Atlanta airport is a non-starter.

The City of Atlanta is now being held hostage by computer hackers who are demanding a $51,000 ransom to be paid in Bitcoin.

An Atlanta security firm Secureworks, hired by the city to help it resolve its online issues, declined in an email to comment the incident.

The shutdown of Atlanta's network forced police officers to write reports by hand and all applications for jobs with the city were suspended until further notice.

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Atlanta's public safety services such as 911, police and fire-rescue are unaffected by the breach.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bolton said this week the city was asked for a $51,000 ransom from unidentified hackers, but there was no formal confirmation of the ransom amount. "The city says it completed part of its investigation of the cyberattack, but it's working on restoring full service". A hacker attack in Dallas last year set off tornado sirens in the middle of the night, and the Colorado Department of Transportation has been targeted twice this year.

The most famous example is last year's WannaCry cyberattack, in which North Korean hackers used malicious software stolen from the National Security Agency to attack tens of thousands of people in more than 70 countries. Collateral damage from that attack affected computers at Maersk, the Danish shipping conglomerate; at Merck, the US -based pharmaceutical giant; and even at businesses in Russian Federation.

Cybersecurity experts estimate that criminals made more than $1 billion from ransomware in 2016, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"There's a lot of work that needs to be done with our digital infrastructure in the city of Atlanta and we know that year after year, that it's something that we have to focus on and certainly this has sped things up".

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