The city of Atlanta government has apparently become the victim of a ransomware attack. The city’s official Twitter account announced that the city government “is currently experiencing outages on various customer facing applications, including some that customers may use to pay bills or access court-related information.”
According to a report from Atlanta NBC affiliate WXIA, a city employee sent the station a screen shot of a ransomware message demanding a payment of $ 6,800 to unlock each computer or $ 51,000 to provide all the keys for affected systems. Employees received emails from the city’s information technology department instructing them to unplug their computers if they noticed anything suspicious. An internal email shared with WXIA said that the internal systems affected include the city’s payroll application.
In a statement sent to Ars, a city spokesperson said, “At this time, our Atlanta Information Management team is working diligently with support from Microsoft to resolve the issue. We are confident that our team of technology professionals will be able to restore applications soon.” The city’s primary website remains online, and the city government will continue to post updates there, the spokesperson added.
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