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City of Oakland Hit by Ransomware Attack

The City of Oakland has disclosed a ransomware attack that impacted several non-emergency systems.

The City of Oakland, California, on Friday announced that it was forced to take some systems offline after falling victim to a ransomware attack.

The cyberattack, the city’s administration says in an incident notification, started on Wednesday night and led to network outages as a result of systems being disconnected from the internet.

While voicemail and other non-emergency services are experiencing interruptions or have been taken offline, no critical or emergency services, such as 911 and fire departments, have been impacted.

Oakland’s IT team is currently working with the authorities to investigate the incident and restore the affected services, but no information has been provided on when the impacted systems will be fully functional.

While the city has disclosed that ransomware was used in the cyberattack, it did not provide information on the type of ransomware used, nor did it say whether the incident has resulted in any data theft.

However, ransomware attacks are typically doubled by data theft, as ransomware operators are looking to increase their chances of receiving a payment by threatening victims that the stolen information will be leaked online unless their ransom demands are met.

Ransomware attacks targeting US cities and counties are not new. Over the past several years, numerous such incidents have led to critical services being shut down and have also impacted election systems and school districts.

While some cities paid the ransom – including Florence City, Lake City, and Riviera Beach City – others chose not to pay, in some cases with disastrous results. The City of Atlanta, which refused to pay a $51,000 ransom, spent millions to recover the impacted systems.

Related: Iowa’s Largest City Cancels Classes Due to Cyber Attack

Related: Personal Information of 123K Individuals Exposed in City of Tucson Data Breach

Related: Cyber Insights 2023 | Ransomware

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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