Last week a public service in Atlanta, one of the largest cities in the U.S., has suspended its work. A ransom demand appeared on municipal computers, calling to pay $ 51,000 in bitcoin under threat of stop working of major departments of the city. Hackers infected the greater part of state authorities, including the police. The output problem has not been solved.
The message about «capture of municipal computers hostage» appeared in the first half of the day last Thursday. Was hacked the computers of the police, judicial services, and almost every municipal authority. For unblocking hackers demand $ 51,000 in bitcoins.
This morning at 5:30 the employees of urban services has received the official email about the problem, where the authorities demanded the shutdown of all computers from the network. Around the same time the employees also saw a ransom demand in bitcoins on the screens of their monitors. First, the government denied hacking, explaining the failure of preventive works, but the truth quickly leaked to the media.
This is not the first such incident affecting an American city. From the authorities Saratosa the hackers tried to request $ 33 million. The city of Leeds, Alabama was forced to pay $ 12,000 to get access to their computers. The authorities in new Mexico still are unable to access computers after the recent attacks, and in Englewood hackers stopped the operation of the entire computer infrastructure of the city.
Fortunately for the authorities of the city, the Atlanta airport, one of the largest transportation hubs in the country, was not injured during the attack. However, the police had to go back to two decades ago – everything is done manually on paper, although apparently this measure is only a precaution and not a direct consequence of hacking.
By mid-afternoon Thursday, city residents still could not pay utility bills online, and the city authorities have asked users to immediately report cases of identity theft. The municipal workers openly expressed their anxiety over problems with working time registration and payment, are carried out with the help of computers. Officials assured that despite the glitch, all accounts and payments will be made properly. «We don’t know the extent of the attack,» — said the mayor — keisha lance bottoms (Keisha Lance Bottoms). She called for patience:
«We want to make sure we don’t put a band-aid on an open wound. We don’t know the extent of the attack and whether compromised personal information or Bank account. We are all affected by this hacking.»
And although there is never a good time for such an attack, for Atlanta, it was especially bad. The city planned several major sporting and social events which require heightened attention of the authorities and teamwork computer networks. The mayor refused to answer whether the authorities plan to pay the ransom in bitcoins.