New Orleans mayor declares state of emergency in wake of city cyberattack

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New Orleans City Government Hit By Ransomware Attack

The City of New Orleans, Louisiana has suffered a ransomware attack that has led to the shut down of the city's servers and computer, but the city states emergency services remain intact.

According to a press conference held by Mayor LaToya Cantrell, it was confirmed that the city was hit by a ransomware attack, but that no ransom demands have been found at this time.

Kim LaGrue, the city's Chief Information Officer, stated that the city first detected the attack at 5 AM when suspicious activity was detected on the network.

Cantrell has not yet specified which city services are facing the most serious difficulties due to the cyberattack.

Most city websites were down Friday afternoon, although officials said emergency communications including 911 were still up and running. The city doesn't believe employees interacted or provided any information to the adversaries, city officials said.

Experts from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the US Secret Service and the US National Guard got involved to protect computers.

According to local television channels, the New Orleans police department and fire department continue to operate. Citizens looking to submit a non-emergency 311 request are able to do so by visiting nola311.org rather than nolagov.311.

Authorities in USA cities and states usually announce an emergency only in the event of natural disasters. Specifically, they said the city's street cameras are still recording, and footage from those cameras can be obtained manually even though the city's internet connection is down. It wasn't yet known if the November cyber-attack on the state of Louisiana and the New Orleans attack are related. The Texas towns and counties hit by ransomware were all receiving products and services from Rockwell, Texas-based MSP TSM Consulting.

It isn't yet clear if the cyber-attack included ransomware, in which computers are rendered inoperable until money is paid to the hacker. The Nassau County district was among several statewide targeted by a ransomware virus.

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