City of Wichita Faces Ransomware Attack | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The City of Wichita experienced a ransomware attack today that’s led to a shutdown of some of its systems to keep the malware from spreading.

The city says certain files in its systems were locked without permission by an attacker who will give the city access for a price.

The shutdown could impact many parts of city operations.

As of Sunday afternoon, city sites including the water bill payment website and other online city services weren’t available.

KSN asked whether due dates for bills will be pushed back, but a city spokesperson declined to provide that information.

“This is a ransomware attack,” said Bill Ramsey, cybersecurity professional and CEO of Soteria Technology Solutions. “They’re encrypting the information so you no longer have access to it and you have to pay them to regain access.”

The implications can be wide ranging.

“Part of that ransom is usually we’re going to sell this information to the dark web or other players out there if you don’t pay us,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey said the amount of information compromised depends partially on how quickly the city shut down its systems after the attack.

The city says the attack happened Sunday. It’s one of an increasing number of cyber attacks in recent years.

“For the last three or four years this is happening with an alarming regularity,” Ramsey said. “It just happens all the time, day, night. It’s a constant battle of the IT technology cyber security specialists against the threat actors out on the internet.”

Ramsey said the most important part of counteracting a cyber attack is the incident response plan.

Wichita officials said the city has systems in place to allow first responders to continue operating even with the city’s systems shutdown.

Federal and local law enforcement are helping investigate the breach.

The city said systems are being restored on a staggered basis. There’s no timeline for when all systems will be back online.


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