Because of the effects of a ransomware assault that required the City to shut down all of its IT systems on February 8, the City of Oakland has declared a local state of emergency. G. Harold Duffey, the interim city administrator, announced a state of emergency so that the City of Oakland could swiftly place orders, acquire supplies and equipment, and mobilize emergency personnel as necessary.
According to a statement released today, “Today, Interim City Administrator, G. Harold Duffey declared a local state of emergency due to the ongoing effects of the network failures caused by the ransomware attack that started on Wednesday, February 8.”
The 911 dispatch, the fire department, and the emergency services all operated as usual; therefore, the incident had no impact on the essential services. Even though the ransomware attack last week only affected non-emergency services, several of the systems that were promptly shut down to contain the danger are still unavailable.
At this time, it is uncertain which ransomware gang was responsible for the attack, and the City has not yet disclosed any information about ransom demands or data theft from affected systems.
When BleepingComputer contacted a City of Oakland official for more information shortly after the incident was reported, the spokeswoman was unable to offer any other information.
According to the statement, “The City’s IT Department is collaborating with a top forensics firm to conduct a thorough incident response and analysis, as well as with additional cybersecurity and technology organizations on recovery and remediation efforts.” “This investigation is still ongoing, involving numerous local, state, and federal agencies.”
Declaring A Local Emergency
Governor John Edwards of Louisiana also proclaimed a state of emergency in July of last year, almost three years ago, following a flurry of ransomware attacks that affected the state’s school systems.
In that same month, ransomware-encrypted school IT systems in Morehouse, Sabine, Monroe City, and Ouachita school districts were all taken offline, disrupting educational infrastructure throughout the state.
After a DarkSide ransomware attack shut down Colonial Pipeline, the most significant fuel pipeline in the country, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (the FMCSA) declared a regional emergency that affects 17 states and the District of Columbia.
At least six municipal governments in the United States have already been affected by ransomware this year, and at least four of them have had their data taken, according to security analyst Brett Callow with Emsisoft.
Microsoft also said in January that it is now monitoring over 100 ransomware gangs that are known to have used more than 50 different malware families up until the end of the previous year.
City Of Oakland
City of Oakland is a city in west-central California and has been the county seat of Alameda since 1873. It is located across from San Francisco on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay. The City’s location is on a flat coastal plain that rises toward hills that run parallel to the coastline to the east. The City of Oakland experiences chilly, rainy winters and bright, sunny summers typical of a mild Mediterranean climate.
In the summer, it suffers morning fogs like its neighbor to the west, but these usually dissipate by noon. The large metropolitan area surrounding the bay, which is anchored to the southeast by San Jose and San Francisco, has Oakland as its eastern hub. Berkeley is to the north; San Leandro is to the south; Alameda is to the west, on Alameda Island, and Oakland entirely encircles Piedmont. City’s area is 78 square miles (202 square km).
Following a cyberattack that initially attacked city technology systems last week, Oakland officials declared a state of emergency because it can still not pay parking fines, traffic tickets, and taxes online or make phone calls to most local offices. Based on a tweet from the Oakland Police Department, calls to 911 and city emergency services are still being answered. However, response times to emergency calls have been delayed, according to city officials. The assault began on February 8 and appears to be affecting the City’s phone and computer systems. Although they provided little information, city officials labeled the attack ransomware.