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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

How the Devastating Ransomware Attack in Oakland Brought the City to its Knees

Introduction

The ransomware attack that struck Oakland on February 8, 2023, has had severe consequences for the city’s services. The attack forced the City’s Information Technology Department (ITD) to shut down all systems, resulting in ongoing impacts on non-emergency systems like payments, permits, and licenses. As a result, the Interim City Administrator declared a state of emergency.

The Impact of the Ransomware Attack

The impact of the ransomware attack is far-reaching and ongoing. The city has had to close some buildings, and the public is advised to email ahead of any planned visits to affected departments.

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The network outage has affected non-emergency systems, such as the ability to process reports, licenses, and permits, and collect payments. It has also caused significant delays in response times by the Oakland Police Department (OPD).

The City’s Response to the Attack

The Interim City Administrator, G. Harold Duffey, declared a state of emergency due to the ongoing impact of the network outages caused by the ransomware attack.

This declaration allows the city to expedite the procurement of equipment and materials, activate emergency workers if necessary, and issue orders on an expedited basis. The City of Oakland is working tirelessly to restore its systems and bring services back online.

The Attackers

It remains unclear which ransomware group was responsible for the attack on the City of Oakland.

None of the major groups have claimed responsibility yet, and the leak sites of the groups checked so far do not mention Oakland. This could be due to ongoing ransom negotiations.

Impact on Critical Infrastructure

Fortunately, the ransomware attack did not affect critical infrastructure like 911 dispatch, fire and emergency resources. However, the Oakland Police Department (OPD) reported that response times have been delayed, and the public was advised to use alternate means to report non-emergency incidents.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the ransomware attack on the City of Oakland has had severe consequences for its services, resulting in a state of emergency being declared by the Interim City Administrator. The city is working hard to restore its systems and bring services back online. Although the attackers remain unknown, the investigation is ongoing. The public is advised to use alternate means to report non-emergency incidents.

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