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Pensacola, Fla., Victim of Ransomware

The city of Pensacola, Fla., confirmed that the city experienced a ransomware attack in the early morning of Dec. 7.

“As a result of the incident, Technology Resources staff disconnected computers from the city’s network until the issue can be resolved,” the city said in a statement. While the city has overall remained operational, some services, including city emails, some landlines, 311 customer service, and online bill payments, were impacted. Emergency services, 911, and the city’s website were not impacted by the attack.

In its most recent update on Dec. 9 at 12:30 p.m., the city government said it was “currently in an assessment and recovery mode, and IT staff continue to work diligently to check all computers and restore our network.” It also noted that email servers are back online and said that city staff with smartphones have “limited access” to emails. Additionally, most city landlines have been restored.

The cyberattack comes on the heels of the Dec. 6 shooting at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola. It isn’t clear whether the two incidents are related; however, the city has notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security, and Florida Department of Law Enforcement as a precaution. Kaycee Lagarde, a spokeswoman for Mayor Grover Robinson told local news station WEAR-TV, “It’s really too early to say one way or another … We understand that it’s on people’s mind but we just don’t know at this point.”

Pensacola joins a long list of other cities and states impacted by ransomware attacks, including Louisianna (with two attacks), Baltimore, Flagstaff, Ariz., Texas, Syracuse, N.Y., and Lake City, Fla., among others.

Kate Polit
About Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs