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Ransomware Attack Disrupts Seattle Public Library Services

The Seattle Public Library is scrambling to bring systems online after shutting them down to contain a ransomware attack.

The Seattle Public Library is scrambling to restore its online services after falling victim to a ransomware attack over the Memorial Day weekend.

The attack, the library says, was identified on May 25, one day before a planned maintenance shut down, and impacted all its online services.

“In the early morning hours of Saturday, May 25 — just one day before we were prepared to take our systems offline to conduct planned maintenance on a server over Memorial Day weekend — the Library became aware of a ransomware event affecting our technology systems,” the library announced.

“This disruption began impacting access to staff and public computers, our online catalog and loaning system, e-books and e-audiobooks, in-building Wi-Fi, and our website at www.spl.org,” it added.

On Wednesday, the institution revealed that its website has been restored and that access to some digital services, including Hoopla, is also available.

“The Library continues working to securely restore more technology services, such as e-books and e-audiobooks, computers, Wi-Fi, printing and more,” the library said.

The organization has been working with third-party forensic specialists and law enforcement to investigate the attack and to restore functionality to its systems.

Physical locations remain open for visitors, who can check out materials. However, the library cannot check materials back into the catalog for now.

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“We apologize in advance that wait times will be impacted as we work to manage a backlog of returned and newly delivered items,” the institution said.

The Seattle Public Library has not shared details on whether any data was stolen from its systems during the attack but said it would provide timely updates on the incident.

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Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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