(BCN) — The Hayward City Council will hold a special meeting Thursday night to ratify a proclamation of a local emergency made Sunday after a ransomware attack breached the city’s computer systems and networks over the weekend.
Hayward is continuing to “assess and recover” from the cybersecurity event that occurred early Sunday morning in which “intruders attempted to disrupt and hold hostage aspects and components of our computer systems and networks,” the city said.
A ransomware attack occurs when someone encrypts files and demands ransom to decrypt them. The encryption makes the files and the systems that rely on them unusable, according to the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
Thursday’s meeting is at 7 p.m. and will be in-person only at council chambers, located in Hayward City Hall, 777 B Street, conference room 2A.
By declaring an emergency, the city has greater flexibility in executive decision-making and deployment of city employees, and can access and acquire equipment, supplies and other resources needed, the city said Wednesday. The declaration also can “be a prerequisite to and streamline” reimbursement of certain costs associated with the response, according to the city manager.
Public access to the City of Hayward’s website was mostly restored Tuesday, but aspects of the city’s site are still being gradually restored, the city said, and visitors to the site who encounter non-functioning links are encouraged to report them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hayward’s emergency numbers and systems were never affected, the city said, nor were water, sewer, or other municipal operations.
“To date, we have found no evidence of a breach or theft of private personal or confidential information related to any current or former City employee, community member or other member of the public,” said the city. “If that were to change, the City will contact the affected individual or individuals directly.”
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The City of Oakland was also the victim of a ransomware attack earlier this year and declared an emergency as well. The breach started Feb. 8. and the attackers crippled the city’s information technology and demanded ransom to free the systems.
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