New Orleans mayor declares state of emergency after the city was hit with a cyberattack
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell declared a state of emergency on Friday after the city was hit by a cyberattack that forced officials to shutdown all government computers.
Cantrell discussed details about the sudden technology invasion in a press conference, saying phishing attempts and suspicious activity were detected around 5am.
Government employees began logging onto their computers around 8am and the suspicious activity increased.
Just a few short hours later, technical investigators detected a 'cybersecurity incident' at 11am and determined the city was under a cyberattack from an undisclosed source.
At that point, the New Orleans City information technology department began powering down government severs and city computers as a precaution
The New Orleans emergency preparedness campaign released a series of tweets updating residents about the ongoing measures.
'Out of an abundance of caution, all employees were immediately alerted to power down computers, unplug devices & disconnect from WiFi. All servers have been powered down as well. [NOLA government] websites will be down,' the wrote.
CNN reports that ransomware, a type of malware that threatens to publish data or block access until a ransom is paid, was detected.
However, Cantrell says that no ransom has been demanded in the cyber attack and the city does not believe any employee's information was compromised during the phishing attempts.
The city's emergency 911 system was not affected during the attack.
The cyberattack is being investigated by the city with help from the Louisiana State Police, Louisiana National Guard, the FBI and the Secret Service.
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