Updated: Apr 8, 2019
Nearly a week after it became the target of one of the largest ransomware attacks to date, the City of Atlanta has made progress toward recovery, but it is still far from business as usual. Hackers encrypted many of the city government's vital data and computer systems.
The ransomware attack, which Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms characterized as "a hostage situation," forced the city to shut down municipal courts and even prevented residents from paying bills online. The city has been unable to issue warrants, and in many cases city employees have had to fill out forms and reports by hand.
The hackers demanded that officials pay a ransom of US$51,000 to be sent to a bitcoin wallet.
The attack on Atlanta remains one of the largest ransomware attacks to date. It actually is much bigger than a cyberthreat, Mayor Bottoms said earlier this week. It's an attack on the government and its citizens.
"Ransomware attacks are a reality for many businesses, and unfortunately, this instance is likely not the last," said Sam Elliott, director of security product management at Bomgar.
"Ransomware is one of the easiest ways to monetize a successful breach of security, and as such it continues to be favored by many hackers," noted Eytan Segal, principal product manager at Check Point.
"This recent breach of the Atlanta local government is a good example of how devastating and frustrating these attacks can be when they succeed," he told TechNewsWorld.