Two Cities In Californian  Attacked

Two city governments in California, Oakland and Modesto, were knocked offline in simultaneous ransomware attacks recently, forcing police in Modesto to fall back on “old school policing,” including the use of handheld radios, pens, and paper during patrols. 

Oakland officials have confirmed a ransomware attack on municipal networks. Modesto has also recently confirmed that on the Febryaet 3rd there was a cyber-attack on its Police Department's digital network. 

The network was ransomware attacked and personal information, including Social Security and driver's license numbers, may have been accessed. City spokesman Andrew Gonzales said in a interview the city would not say how many people may have had their personal information accessed, whether they work for the city or are members of the public, how the ransomware accessed the Police Department's network and many other details.
But Gonzales repeated what the city had said previous statements that the incident never put the public at risk or disrupted the city's ability to provide services, including responding to 911 calls.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software, or malware, that hackers use to infect a computer or computer network until a ransom is paid or other demands are met. Gonzales said Modesto did not pay a ransom but declined to say the amount or nature of the ransom. Modesto disconnected its Police Department's digital network from the rest of the city's network. He said only the Police Department's network was affected by the incident. He confirmed Modesto noticed the suspicious activity on the Police Department's network Feb. 3.

The city only confirmed that it had detected suspicious activity on its digital network Feb. 8 after The Bee inquired about the matter. The statement the city issued then had few details. When asked why the city did not acknowledge the breach sooner and without the inquiry from the newspaper, Gonzales cited the need to maintain the integrity of the investigation.

The Police Department was the victim of ransomware and the attack has meant that the laptops in patrol vehicles did not work.

Modesto worked with cyber security experts and law enforcement in dealing with this attack. But citing the integrity of the investigation, Gonzales declined to name them. The news release states that because of the city's preparation for such an event as well as the quick response of the city's IT staff, it was able to contain the threat in a short amount of time.

Checkpoint:      Govtech:       Govtech:        Modbee:      Cybernews:    

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