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City of Atlanta Victim of Devastating Ransomware Assault

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By LTC Steven Howard, U.S. Army (Ret.)
Contributor, InCyberDefense

On March 22, the City of Atlanta was the victim of a ransomware attack that caused widespread problems. The attackers demanded the equivalent of $50,000 in bitcoin for the release of encrypted city financial and police data.

Atlanta has stated that it did not pay the ransom.

Multiple city departments report a struggle to return to normalcy in the wake of the attack. Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields told local television news station WSB-TV 2 that the hack wiped out years of police dashcam recordings, which “cannot be recovered.”

Atlanta Still Responding to Cyber Attack

The city is still in the “response” phase of the ransomware attack. It continues to discover more systems that have been lost or compromised by the March 22 attack.

Ironically, the hack occurred in the middle of city budget negotiations. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms had suggested that $35 million be allocated for the city’s information technology department.

Since the attack, Atlanta’s IT department has asked for an additional $9.5 million to help mitigate the damage done by the attackers.