Atlanta Ransomware attack could cost city taxpayers $17 million

In March 2018, the government servers in the city of Atlanta were targeted by ransomware which led to the disruption of almost all the government’s digital services and data loss in some departments which includes the water utility and the police surveillance footage storage systems.

According to a confidential audit report prepared by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the attack incident could cost the taxpayers of the said region $17 million in cost.

The seven-page document says that $6 million was already spent on the data and system recovery and an additional $11 million is yet to be associated.

Thus, with the latest figures, Atlanta’s ransomware attack happens to be one of the most expensive cyber incidents suffered by the local governments in the United States in 2018.

If the attack cost on Colorado’s department of transportation is taken into account i.e. $2 million, the expense incurred by Atlanta happens to be almost 10 times.

Readers of Cybersecurity Insiders have to notify a fact over here that hackers behind the cyber attack incident on Atlanta demanded $51,000 in cryptocurrency in order to free the data from encryption.

The city officials refused to pay the ransom and decided to recover the systems.

For weeks, the servers of watershed department accepted payments at the city hall and the municipal court witnessed chaos in accepting payments related to traffic tickets for almost two months.

As of now, an official figure of the loss is yet to be estimated in detail. But sources say that the city has already paid $6 million on hiring services related to cybersecurity & software upgrades and is said to pay about $1.1 million for new desktops, laptops, , and tablets.

Note- Law enforcement agencies of United States have already warned Atlanta federal agencies about a possible malware attack in September 2017. But the departments ignored the alerts and failed to patch the vulnerabilities in time.

Now, a $17 million cost is estimated to revive the federal agencies from the cyber incident. And all these expenses have to be borne by the taxes paid by the city populace for the current financial year.

Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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