New York City’s law department was been hit with a cyberattack that forced officials to take the 1,000-lawyer agency offline, but Mayor Bill de Blasio said he believes no data was compromised in the hack.
“To this hour we have not seen information compromised or a ransom demand,” the Democratic mayor said at a virtual news briefing on Tuesday, adding that the investigation was “evolving.”
City officials said they disconnected the law department’s computers from the city’s network on Sunday, after discovering the cyberattack.
“As the investigation remains ongoing, the City has taken additional steps to maintain security, including limiting access to the Law Department’s network at this time,” de Blasio spokesperson Laura Feyer said in a statement.
Geoff Brown, the city’s chief information security officer, who joined de Blasio at Tuesday’s briefing, said the attack was “not a ransom situation” but declined to discuss possible motives.
“We do fully expect the law department IT environment will be securely reestablished promptly so the law department can get back to the business of serving New Yorkers,” he said.
John Miller, the police department’s deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism, said the good news was that the system for detecting hackers worked.
“Once there was activity seen that was suspicious, that rang bells between cyber command and its contractors that patrol those systems looking for anomalies,” Miller said. He said the investigation was “still early in the forensics piece.”
Cyberattacks targeting government agencies as well as private companies have become an increasing threat, including last month’s ransomware attack against Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline, which caused widespread gasoline shortages.
“I think people should realize this is something that’s going to be with us for quite a while,” de Blasio said. “And we’re going to have to do a lot to focus on it and constantly protect ourselves.”