New Orleans is in a state of emergency following a cyberattack


New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell

  • New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced a state of emergency after the city was hit by a cyberattack on Friday.
  • The city started powering down servers and computers at 11 a.m. on Friday.
  • Mayor Cantrell said that although ransomware was found in the city’s systems, no ransom demand has been made.
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Mayor of New Orleans LaToya Cantrell declared a state of emergency on Friday after the city’s network was discovered to have been infiltrated by a cyberattack.

The city’s chief information officer Kim LaGrue told journalists at a press conference that suspicious activity was spotted in the city’s network at 5 a.m. on Friday. By 11 a.m. experts had uncovered a “cybersecurity incident” and the city started shutting down servers and computers to contain the threat.

The City of New Orleans’ Twitter account tweeted a copy of the declaration of state of emergency.

According to tweets from NOLA, New Orleans’ emergency preparedness campaign 911 calls were not affected by the incident. CCTV cameras also continued to work, although they were not feeding back live footage to the city’s Real-Time Crime Center.

Mayor Cantrell told reporters that ransomware, a kind of malware that steals data and demands ransom in return for it, was found in the city’s systems. She said that the City of New Orleans has not yet received any ransom demands. Cantrell also said that her knowledge no city information has been compromised or lost.

No suspect has been named yet, but Louisiana State Police, the Louisiana National Guard, the FBI, and Secret Service are all investigating the incident per CNN.

Ransomware has been used to target US cities before, in August 23 towns in Texas were the victims of a coordinated ransomware attack. Last month Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards also declared a state of emergency following a cyberattack on state government servers.

SEE ALSO: The risk of cyberattacks rises as high-tech smart cities become the norm, and experts say ‘your weakest link is your people’

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