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Albany getting back online after ransomware attack

April 01, 2019 06:38 PM

The city of Albany is getting back online after a ransomware attack on Saturday.

That malware -- or malicious software, locked up many of the city's online systems, but Mayor Kathy Sheehan didn't get into too many details on Monday.

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The city is directing people to the state Office of Records in Menands for birth, death and marriage certificates.

The city is also directing people to other municipalities, like the town of Colonie and the city of Troy for marriage license applications for the time being.

Mayor Sheehan wouldn't say if the ransom was paid in this case, but the fact that they're still working to get things back online probably indicates that it wasn't paid, which is generally the advice security experts give.

Sheehan also didn't want to get into specifics on how the hackers gained access to the city's system, but experts say it's usually through a phishing email or attachment.

Mayor Sheehan says they were notified through security software on Saturday. She says at no point was public safety affected. She says she has no knowledge of the attack affecting fire or police response times whatsoever.

However, a Facebook post from the Albany Police Officers Union criticized the mayor and her administration for a lack of clarity on what was happening and how quickly it was going to be restored.

Sheehan says their biggest focus now is making sure city employees are getting paid. The software system they use for logging time is still down at this point. Employees are tracking their time on paper timesheets.

NewsChannel 13 spoke with cybersecurity experts at GreyCastle Security in Troy about how ransomware is becoming more popular these days. Hear what they had to say by watching the video of Emily Burkhard’s story.


MORE INFORMATION: Protecting yourself from cyber attacks (Department of Homeland Security)

Credits

Emily Burkhard

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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