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Atlanta computers still down 6 days after cyber attack; will city pay ransom?

Atlanta computers still down 6 days after cyber attack; will city pay ransom?

Six days after a ransomware attack crippled a host of services in Atlanta, city officials aren’t saying if they plan on paying the $51,000 sought by the hackers.

“Everything is up for discussion,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said when asked if city would pay the ransom.

City officials first discovered the ransomware attack on March 22, forcing all municipal employees to shut down their computers and stopping a host of resident services. The attack involved the encryption of city data and hackers are reportedly demanding a ransom of 6 Bitcoins or roughly $51,000.

“Our cross-functional incident response team is looking into this matter and working around-the- clock. It would be inappropriate to speculate on when this matter will be fixed, but we are committed to resolution,” the city said on its website page devoted to the attack.

Currently, Municipal Courts in Atlanta cannot process ticket payments, either online or in person, and court appearances are being rescheduled. No new water services can be processed and applications for employment with the city are suspended until further notice, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.

People doing business with Atlanta are urged to “take precautionary measures to maintain the safety and security of their personal information” though the city maintains it has not “seen any evidence that personal information has been misused as a result of this incident.”

The FBI, Department of Homeland Security, Secret Service and independent forensic experts are assisting the city with the investigation.

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