In March, news broke that the city of Atlanta was in the midst of a ransomware attack. Cyberattackers encrypted city data and caused outages throughout various departments, demanding a ransom of about $51,000. Now, months after that attack, the city is still struggling to resume operations. The path to normalcy is beginning to look more onerous.
From the outset, very few details were shared publicly. The city did not, reportedly, pay the ransom, which many cybersecurity experts agree is the proper response. But the financial and operational impact appears to have been crippling. “Atlanta’s administration has disclosed little about the financial impact or scope of the March 22 ransomware hack, but information released at the budget briefings confirms concerns that it may be the worst cyber assault on any U.S. city,” reports Reuters.
According to SC Media, Atlanta first estimated the cleanup would cost $2.7 million. Today the city is requesting an additional $9.5 million. On top of that, earlier assessments that the ransomware attack had been somewhat limited in terms of scope and critical impact seems to have been overly optimistic.
To begin with, years of video evidence in the form of police dashcams has been lost. But the list grows longer. Atlanta’s Information Management head told Reuters that more than one-third of the city’s 424 software programs have been affected. In addition, Reuters writes, “Nearly 30 percent of the affected applications are considered ‘mission critical,’ affecting core city services, including police and courts.” And, Atlanta’s Interim City Attorney told Reuters that her office lost 71 of 77 computers and 10 years of legal documents.
Get the full story at Reuters.