A ransomware program known as “Triple Threat” is now attacking the network systems of the City Hall in Lake City forcing emergency email, credit card, and land-line telephone to shut down. This malware trojan exploits three different methods of ransomware attacks making the City’s network systems to be currently out of order. As a result of the incident, City personnel establishes alternate methods of providing services to the City.
According to the report provided by the Police department, Lake City’s government email systems and most of its landline phones are currently unavailable. Fortunately, all emergency services of the City Hall including Police and Fire are fully operational as public safety networks are isolated and protected by encryption.
The City Hall also employed backup systems such as using paper receipts for utility and water payments and hand-written building permits. Penalties for late payments caused by the delays in the system due to the ransomware attacks will be waived. As the credit card payments are currently unavailable, utility payments can still be made in-person at City Hall.
Joe Helfenberger, the City Manager, said that the City personnel are currently using all available resources to recover from this attack. City Hall’s IT staff have been working non-stop to isolate the systems and recover any lost data. The City Hall have also contracted an outside consultant with expertise in cybercrime solutions to prevent this kind of ransomware attacks.
Brian Hawkins, City Information Technology Director, said that even if the systems are shut down during the ransomware attacks, there is no evidence to indicate that any sensitive data has been compromised.
All customer service payment data, such as credit card data, is stored off-site by third party vendors and would not have been accessed by an attack the same as what happened on the City Hall’s network.
As of the moment, most City departments are operating using Emergency Operations cell phones and remains open to public from 8:00am until 4:30pm.Any critical information will be posted to the Lake City Police Department’s Facebook page, facebook.com/LCFlaPD, due to the inability to monitor emails. Lake City is now working for the best malware protection that will protect the City’s network systems against stealthy hackers.
Anyone with emergency information or needs should contact the Lake City Police Department by phone at (386)752-4343.