Six days after a ransomware cyberattack, Atlanta officers are filling out forms by hand

March 30, 2018


Residents cannot pay their water bill or their parking tickets. Police and other workers are having to write out their reports by hand. And court actions for people who are not in police care are canceled until computer systems are working properly once again.

More than six days after a ransomware attack closed down the city of Atlanta’s online systems, officers here are still trying to keep the government running without several of their digital procedures and facilities.

The city said on Twitter that all court dates fixed for Wednesday will be postponed and all requests for jobs with the city are postponed until further notice.

On Tuesday officers told city workers to turn their computers and printers back on for the first time, part of a continuing appraisal of the impacts of the cyber breach, which happened on March 22.

The city also said on Twitter Wednesday that “there is no proof to demonstrate that client or worker data has been undermined.” But city officers have advised workers and clients to get in touch with credit agencies and check their bank accounts as a precaution.

Details concerning the attack itself remain thin. Thus far, experts have only verified that the city experienced a ransomware cyberattack and city officers received a written demand connected to it.

Atlanta’s public-safety facilities like 911, police, and fire-rescue are unchanged, officers say, as are systems linked to the working of Hartsfield Jackson International Airport.

Facilities available in person


Some facilities that are not available online can be retrieved personally by coming to City of Atlanta offices.

Among them: new water provision requests and hydrant-meter renewals and returns. Most planning facilities are still available personally, however, officers say handling times might take longer than usual. And inhabitants requiring inspections or assistance with zoning can still access facilities by arriving personally or by calling the department.

However, the city said Wednesday on Twitter that its Municipal Court doesn’t have the capability to handle ticket payments — online or personally.

Officers say anybody set for a walk-in Municipal Court appearance will be reorganized automatically without fine and that no failure-to-appear warrants will be issued during this time. They advise checking with the Georgia Department of Driver Facilities if the case involves the position of a driver’s license.

The city’s payroll is also unchanged, Cox verified last week.

The Mayor said the cyberattack highlighted the requirement to reinforce crucial systems.

“Just as much as we really concentrate on our physical infrastructure, we need to concentrate on the safety of our digital infrastructure,” Bottoms said. “I am looking forward to us really being a national example of how cities can shore themselves up and be firmer because of it.”