The city of Atlanta is working with federal partners to determine how to respond to an attack on the city’s network and to determine what customer or employee information could have been compromised.
“At his time, there is no evidence that customer, residential or employee data has been comprised,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said at March 23 press conference. However, the city is encouraging anyone in those groups that feels their information could have been compromised to monitor their bank accounts, she said.
A cyber attack has caused outages for several city services and $50,000 in ransom has been demanded to release the city’s system, Bottoms said. The city is working with the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and other federal partners to determine how to fix the system and if the ransom should be paid.
The attack has caused outages internal systems, including some that customers may use to pay bills or access court-related information, the city said.
Public safety, water service operations and the airport are operating without incident, said Richard Cox, the city’s interim chief of operations, at the press conference, which was broadcasted online by the city. WiFi has been disabled at the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport out of caution, Cox said.
The Atlanta Municipal Court cannot process ticket payments online or in-person. Residents who are set to appear for court during this time will not be penalized for not appearing, Cox said.
“We want to make sure we operate fairly during this time,” he said.
The ATL311 service is not able to process some water service requests, but can process most other requests. Solid waste pick up is still on schedule, Cox said.
The ongoing investigation will determine if resident or employee information has been compromised, Bottoms said.
“Because we don’t know, I think it would appropriate for citizens to be vigilante in checking their accounts,” she said.
The city has no plans to close City Hall and the Municipal Court. City payroll has also not been affected, she said.
The city plans to move systems to a more secure platform, but won’t release the time frame for that move, said Chief Information Officer Daphne Rackley at the press conference.
Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields said the police systems have not been affected, but out of caution officers have reverted to filing reports on paper.