Oakland Declares State of Emergency After Ransomware Attack
The City of Oakland, California, has declared a state of emergency after a ransomware attack hit its computer systems. The attack was discovered on February 8, but the emergency was only brought into effect several days after the cyberattack was confirmed. The local government has not revealed the demands of the cybercriminals.
Oakland city officials announced on February 10 that the local government network was “recently subject to a ransomware attack that began last Wednesday night”, and the IT department was “coordinating with law enforcement and actively investigating the scope and severity of the issue.” On February 14, a local state of emergency was put into effect, which would allow officials to speed up the procurement of equipment and materials and deploy emergency workers if necessary.
City officials said they’ve tried to contain the attack by taking affected systems offline. This has led to many non-essential city services being brought offline, including online payments for taxes and fines, permit issuing services, and more. The investigation into the attack is being assisted by cybersecurity and technology firms, including a leading forensic firm.
Oakland city officials have assured residents that the cyberattack incident has not delayed response times to emergency 9-11 calls, but a delay in response to non-emergency reports is to be expected. Contrary to this, Oakland Police Department stated via its Facebook account that its response time to 9-11 calls have been affected, and asked residents to file reports online if an immediate emergency response is not needed.
This is another large-scale ransomware attack faced by the State of California in less than a month. We recently reported a ransomware attack on Heritage Provider Network that exposed the personal data of more than 3 million patients. Among the major cybersecurity predictions by Forbes for 2023 is a rise in targeted ransomware on companies, municipalities, and core service businesses.