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City of Galt Computerized Systems Attacked by Ransomware

Post Date:12/17/2019

In the early morning hours of December 16, 2019, ransomware hackers placed malware on the City of Galt’s computerized systems in order to take over those systems in pursuit of a ransom payment.  The ransom amount is presently unknown.  The City is one of many public agencies hit with ransomware over the past few months.

When the systems began to fail, information technology crews responded immediately to preserve and protect any portions of the City’s computerized systems not yet affected.  An analysis is being conducted with the use of forensic experts to determine the cause and full extent of the attack.  It appears the attack has encrypted access to data on certain City servers but has not resulted in the exposure of personal data, though investigation is ongoing.  The City’s email server was also damaged and email communication to and from City accounts is not operational.

The City’s telephone system was also harmed by the attack, which operates as voice over internet protocol (VOIP).  The disruption in telephone service will prevent the public from calling into the City.  The City is evaluating options to reestablish limited telephone service while the main system is repaired.  The police department’s emergency 911 phone lines were NOT affected in the attack and are fully operational.  Citizens with life threatening emergencies should dial 911.

 The City is working closely with its IT experts, risk management providers, legal counsel, and law enforcement to evaluate the extent of the attack and options moving forward.  The City has also reported the attack to the California Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is working with those agencies.  We will update t he public as soon as we know more.

 CDD Services, Building, Code Enforcement, and Planning: 209.649.0285 

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