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West Seattle Blog… | FOLLOWUP: Seattle Public Library says ‘ransomware event’ keeping its online services offline | #ransomware | #cybercrime

Commenters pointed out this morning that the Seattle Public Library‘s online outage – which we mentioned on Sunday – continues. SPL has just explained why:

In the early morning hours of Saturday, May 25 — just one day before we were prepared to take our systems offline to conduct planned maintenance on a server over Memorial Day weekend — the Library became aware of a ransomware event affecting our technology systems.

This disruption began impacting access to staff and public computers, our online catalog and loaning system, in-building Wi-Fi, and our website at spl.org.

The Library quickly engaged third-party forensic specialists, contacted law enforcement, and took our systems fully offline to interrupt and better assess the nature and impacts of the event. With our external partners, we continue to investigate the source of this disruption and are working as quickly and diligently as we can to confirm the extent of the impacts and restore full functionality to our systems. Privacy and security of patron and employee information are top priorities.

Until we can ensure the security of these systems, they will remain offline. We do not yet have an estimated time of resolution but will update you here as we are able to bring systems back online.

We are an organization that prides itself on providing you answers, and we are sorry that the information we are can share is limited. At this time, securing and restoring our systems is where we are focused. We will update you in this space as we make progress on that work.

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this difficult situation.

We are still open and lending print books and other physical materials!

Despite these challenges, we intend to keep opening our doors as scheduled to welcome you in. You are invited to enjoy our spaces; check out our physical books, CDs and DVDs (using paper forms); and get your reference and referral questions answered to the best of our ability.

Our hard-working staff, whose jobs have become more challenging without technology access, are ready and able to assist you to check out materials and use our spaces and amenities. Although you cannot currently place holds, you are welcome to pick up holds already on the shelves. (One tip: When you visit, please bring your physical library card or library card number.)

Please hold on to your materials a little while longer

Because we cannot currently check physical materials back into our catalog, we encourage you to hold onto them a bit longer. The Library does not charge daily late fines for overdue materials. Once we get back online, we will update due dates for materials.

We apologize in advance that wait times will be impacted as we work to manage a backlog of returned and newly delivered items.

Many explanations of ransomware are available online – here’s one from a company specializing in security.

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National Cyber Security