The city of Oakland was hit by a ransomware attack Wednesday night that forced it to take all systems offline until the network was secured and affected services were brought back online.
The attack did not affect basic services, with the city saying 911 dispatch and fire and emergency resources are all operating as planned.
The city’s Information Technology Department (ITD) is coordinating with law enforcement to investigate the attack and is working to secure and restore affected services.
“The Information Technology Department is coordinating with law enforcement and actively investigating the extent and severity of the issue,” the city said. said in a statement released Friday.
“Our core functions are intact. 911, financial data, and fire and emergency resources are unaffected.”
The City is also developing a response plan to address the issue in accordance with industry best practices and will share more information as it becomes available.
“In the meantime, the public should expect delays from the city. We are actively monitoring the situation and sending updated information as it becomes available,” the statement also said.
In an abundance of caution, ITD has taken the affected systems offline while they work to secure and restore services safely. In the meantime, the public should expect delays from the City.
— City of Oakland (@Oakland) February 10, 2023
The ransomware group behind the attacks is currently unknown, and the city has yet to share details regarding ransom demands or data theft from compromised systems.
A City of Oakland spokesperson could not provide additional details when BleepingComputer asked for more information earlier in the day.
Jaime Omar Yassin, a journalist from Oakland, who broke the story Thursday that the city of Oakland was likely hit by ransomware, too reported last year that the city’s understaffed IT department left it vulnerable to ransomware attacks.
According Brett Callow, threat analyst at Emsisoft“At least 6 US local governments have already been hit by ransomware this year, and at least 4 of them have had their data stolen.”
Like Emsisoft share in January, ransomware attacks impacted more than 200,000 major US public sector organizations in 2022 across government, education, and healthcare verticals.
Compared to the previous year, ransomware attacks against local governments saw an increase from 77 to 105 incidents in 2022.
Microsoft too revealed in January, it tracks over 100 ransomware gangs that deployed over 50 unique ransomware families through the end of last year.