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City suffers ransomware attack, turns off website | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


The city of Hayward has fallen victim to a ransomware attack and shut down its city website as IT crews investigated the extent of the problem.

In an email to KTVU, Hayward spokesman Chuck Finne described being hacked as a “cyber-security incident and intrusion” into its computer networks.

The problem was noticed early Sunday morning. He said that while the public website and online city portals are turned off, 911 and emergency dispatching systems are still operational.

“One of the main mechanisms by which our city does business has been taken offline,” Finnie said.

City technicians discovered the breach early Sunday morning, but it’s not clear how and when the actual hack occurred.

Finnie said that there is no current evidence of a breach of personal information of any employee or member of the public. If there is, he said, Hayward will notify those people directly. 

“Protection is the highest priority, protection of private and confidential and personal information of our employees and people who do business with the city,” Finnie said.

For updates, Finnie suggested residents sign up for Hayward’s e-newsletter, the Stack, and by following the city on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Nextdoor.

Hayward police say their 911 dispatch, patrol operations and front desk are working normally.

Hayward libraries for now have no Internet or wi-fi access for visitors.

“They can come in and just browse, check out books and things like that, the old-fashioned way,” said Jayanthi Addleman, Hayward’s library services director. “So far, everyone’s been very understanding. They’ve definitely been very kind. We understand that this is disruptive and that for some people, the computers, they really depend on us.”

Kevin Powers, Boston College cyber expert, said, “Hopefully the city of Hayward, this is something they saw in the works, they shut their systems, they’re able to address, mitigate and recover.”

Hayward is the second East Bay city to fall victim to this type of attack.

Related

Oakland ransomware attack nears 2 months

Friday will mark two months since the City of Oakland’s Information Technology system was ransacked and disabled by ransomware hackers causing city employees and residents headaches and loss of personal information.

In February, Oakland was targeted by a ransomware scheme. Oakland’s computer system was not back up and running until April. 

As a result of that data breach, four legal claims and one class action lawsuit were filed against Oakland as some employees’ personal information was released as a result, The Oaklandside reported. 

Hackers allegedly affiliated with the criminal group PLAY infiltrated Oakland’s computer systems, cutting off access to files and databases for many departments and shutting down services like Oak311. The hackers also stole sensitive data from city servers, including the social security numbers and dates of birth of city employees and some residents, and confidential records from OPD, including discipline records and internal affairs investigations.

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