City of Atlanta Under Ransomware Attack

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Atlanta city government has been hit with a ransomware attack.Photo by Jessica Furtney on Unsplash

Atlanta, Georgia Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom announced today that the city’s computer system has suffered a ransomware attack. The city has called in the FBI, Homeland Security and the Secret Service to address the problem.

Citizens started noticing that something was wrong with the computer system when they attempted to pay their utilities today.The primary target of the ransomware attack appears to be the city utilities department and the court system.

Mayor Bottom, who has been on the job for 80 days, said that usually companies who are hit with ransomware will wait weeks and sometimes months before alerting the public. She said that she wanted to get the word out right away so the public and the city’s employees can begin to take steps to protect their credit and financial information.

Bottom said she became aware of the ransomware assault on the city when her chief operating officer called her this morning.

The cyber attackers are asking for $50,000 to release the Atlanta computers.

When asked if the city planned to pay the ransom, Mayor Bottom replied: “I am not sure if we will. We are trying to get this fixed, which is why we called in the FBI, Homeland Security and the Secret Service.”

The city is asking all employees to contact the various credit agencies and take precautions to protect their financial profile.

According to Mayor Bottom the ransomware attack will not prevent the city from paying its employees.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist. He is a Contributor at The Hill, SCLC National Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine and Black College Nines. He can be contacted at hmharvey@haroldmichaelharvey.com

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Harvey is Living Now Book Awards 2020 Bronze Medalist for his memoir Freaknik Lawyer: A Memoir on the Craft of Resistance. Available at haroldmichaelharvey.com

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