A ransomware attack hit the City of Del Rio in Texas shutting it down. According to a January 10 press release, the attack occurred last week and forced the town to abandon electronic services shutting down City Hall servers.
Officials immediately took steps to mitigate the malware. The city’s Management Information Services or M.I.S department shut down all internet connections across all city departments. Therefore, employees across all departments were unable to log into systems. Employees were also forced to conduct all work manually. The city also turned to social media to inform the city of alternate methods of communications and payments with city departments. Saying in the Facebook message:
“Due to the current internet systems being down, those who made a reservation with the Transportation Department will need to verify their reservation by calling 830-774-8695.
Citizens wishing to pay utility bills may continue to do so, please bring your bill to City Hall. If you do not have your bill, you can come in and make a payment in the amount you wish to do so until the server is back up.
Citizens wishing to pay taxes can continue to do so. We encourage citizens to bring their statements since we cannot search their information at this time. To see how much you owe visit www.trueautomation.com, go to the Property Tax Search, search and click City of Del Rio Tax, put in your details and view how much you owe.
We will only be accepting checks and cash at this time.”
City representatives contacted the FBI regarding the attack and were then referred to the Secret Service to conduct the investigation. It is unknown on why the City was referred to the Secret Service to conduct the investigation.
The city commented on the attack saying:
“The City is diligently working on finding the best solution to resolve this situation and restore the system. We ask the public to be patient with us as we may be slower in processing requests at this time.
Further, it is unknown if any personal data of employees and customers were compromised. The city has not revealed too much information on this attack yet. The ransom amount is unknown, and we do not know if any payments were made. However, a spokesperson for the city, Victoria Vargas, did say that the attack was unusual and hit about 30-45 computers. The ransom note told officials to contact a phone number for instructions on paying the ransom. This is very unusual because attackers usually provide an email address or a link to a site for their victims to get more information on paying the ransom.
If you believe your organization has been hit with an Ransomware attack contact LIFARS immediately.