Bradford, PA: Bradford City Hall’s computer system was the target Sunday of a ransomware attack that took down 9 out of 11 computers, but no data was jeopardized.

Mayor Tom Riel contacted media outlets Monday evening to report the attack.

He reiterated that no data was breached and no personal information was retrieved by hackers.

“Monday morning it was discovered that the City of Bradford suffered a ransomware attack on the city hall computer system. Fortunately, our data is secured in the cloud,” Riel said in a statement. “The attack occurred sometime Sunday and basically rendered our system inoperable today.”

The statement continued, “We are confident at this point that our data was not breached, but it was encrypted and rendered useless. We would like to stress that no personal information in our system was jeopardized.

Riel said the city’s information technology contractor has been able to fully restore all of the data on the server from cloud storage, Riel noted.

“Nine out of 11 desktop computers in city hall were also rendered useless in the attack and are being replaced,” the mayor said. “Customers may experience some delays in the processing of business at city hall over the next several days until the system is completely restored by the end of this week. We ask for the public’s patience and understanding as we deal with this unfortunate problem.”

Riel said city police have been notified and will work with state and federal agencies to try to determine the origin of the attack.

“Many government agencies have been victims of ransomware recently,” Riel said. “Fortunately, we were better prepared than many other municipalities have been as we were aware of the possible threat.

The city has already taken additional steps to further prevent cyber attacks, consulting with IT contractors to protect internal computer infrastructure.

Riel said Monday night only the computers in city hall were affected. Systems outside of city hall, like the city police, fire and public works departments, were not.

Riel explained the affected computers are being replaced with refurbished computers, which are expected to be installed as soon as possible.

The original article appeared in the Bradford Era on Oct. 1, 2019
Photo by Taskin Ashiq on Unsplash

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