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Atlanta cyberattack deadlock continues as authorities undecisive of hackers' demands

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 28 March 2018, 13:02 IST

Last week, Atlanta city was hit by a massive ransomware attack which affected the city's computer network massively. The attack blocked access to electronic records, the city's jail and municipal courts had to adopt manual method to work. The people in the city didn't had access to internet and the city isn't back to busniess yet.

Last week, Atlanta city was hit by a massive ransomware attack which affected the city's computer network massively. The attack blocked access to electronic records, the city's jail and municipal courts had to adopt manual method to work. The people in the city didn't had access to internet and the city isn't back to busniess yet.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms prioritizing cybercsecurity said, "There's a lot of work that needs to be done with our digital infrastructure in the city of Atlanta and we know that year after year, that it's something that we have to focus on and certainly this has sped things up."

Tasnim Shamma of member station WABE in Atlanta said, "Many city employees have been without access to Internet and email since Thursday after hackers locked some of its systems and demanded a $51,000 payment. The city says it completed part of its investigation of the cyberattack, but it's working on restoring full service."

Atlanta's courts said, "Due to Facebook data breach we can't process ticket payments, whether online or in person. Residents facing court cases for some low-level offenses received a reprieve of sorts due to the attack.

Ransomware is a destructive software from cryptovirology which threatens to publish the victim's data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid. The attack has been on rise in recent years.

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In 2017, the US and UK governments blamed North Korea for the WannaCry malware attack which affected hospitals, businesses and banks across the world last year. The attack disrupted 300,000 computers in 150 nations, causing billions of dollars of damage.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is trying to figure out the culprits, they demanded $51,000 in bitcoin to unlock the crushed systems

Tasnim Shamma of member station WABE in Atlanta said, "Many city employees have been without access to Internet and email since Thursday after hackers locked some of its systems and demanded a $51,000 payment. The city says it completed part of its investigation of the cyberattack, but it's working on restoring full service."

An Atlanta security firm Secureworks, hired by the city to help it resolve its online issues, declined in an email to comment the incident.

The ransomware attack is affecting Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which is unable to use WiFi system as a precaution. The website wrote, the passengers need to check the airline information with individual airlines.

The attack is not limited to Atlanta only, the hackers might access uburban town 30 miles away. The town is advised to check their bank accounts and credit report as the hackers have accessed city's server in Loganville, Georgia.

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First published: 28 March 2018, 13:02 IST
 
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