Ransomware attack on Ohio city impacts multiple services

Jason Macuray
A ransomware attack on Huber Heights, Ohio, is causing significant problems for several city systems.

A ransomware attack on Huber Heights, Ohio, is causing significant problems for several city systems.

The community of nearly 45,000 residents outside of Dayton released a notice on Sunday warning that its systems were hit with ransomware at around 8 a.m.

“While public safety services are not impacted the following city divisions are affected: Zoning, Engineering, Tax, Finance, Utilities, Human Resources, and Economic Development,” City Manager Rick Dzik said in a statement.

“The Information Technology Department is coordinating with third parties as well as local, state, and federal law enforcement and is actively investigating the scope and severity of the issue. Public Safety Services continue to remain unaffected.”

Dzik explained that city services are expected to be down for at least a week, noting that while phone lines are operational, residents should check the city website for more information about what services have been restored.

Anyone whose data is impacted by the incident will be notified, he added.

In an update on Monday, the city said it hired consultants to examine the impact of the incident.

Several city residents have asked whether they can still make utility payments, and the city said the online payment portal is still down — meaning people will have to come in person and pay with either cash or check.

All late penalties for bills and disconnections will be suspended through the end of the month while the city resolves the situation.

A resident noted to Recorded Future News that Dzik was previously city manager of Mount Vernon, Ohio — which faced its own ransomware attack in December that affected offices.

Ohio has faced a barrage of similar incidents, with the city of Circleville also suffering a ransomware attack in January. That incident involved the city’s municipal court.

Cybercrime gangs have caused significant issues to local government systems around the U.S. this year. For example, Dallas County, Texas, said it was in the process of reviewing troves of stolen data leaked by a ransomware gang that has already crippled services in cities like Oakland and others.

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Jonathan Greig is a Breaking News Reporter at Recorded Future News. Jonathan has worked across the globe as a journalist since 2014. Before moving back to New York City, he worked for news outlets in South Africa, Jordan and Cambodia. He previously covered cybersecurity at ZDNet and TechRepublic.

 

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