New Orleans city government computers were shut down and the mayor declared a state of emergency after a suspected cyberattack.
Ransomware was detected on the Big Easy’s system, forcing the government to take its computers offline and close city offices on Friday. The city government’s website, Nola.gov, remained down Saturday morning.
The city found no sign that any passwords were compromised or data lost in the attack, Nola.com reported, but city workers had an influx of suspicious emails, which forced the systems to remain offline.
New Orleans’ experience with hurricanes is actually an asset in a situation like this, said Collin Arnold, New Orleans’ homeland security director. “One positive about being a city that has been touched by disasters,” he said, “is our plans and our activities reflect the fact that we can operate without the internet and without a city network.”
The FBI, the Secret Service and National Guard are working with city and Louisiana state investigators. Officials said public safety services are still up and running, and City Hall offices will go back to pen and paper to continue doing business.
The city had not received any ransom demands as of Friday afternoon, according to the Associated Press.
The attack follows others that targeted and sometimes crippled government system around the country. The city of Pensacola, Florida, was hit by a ransomware attack, with the hackers seeking $1 million, the day after a gunman killed three sailors at a Navy base there.
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