Ransomware virus downs all internal Englewood city systems

City said residents' info not compromised; services fully running Oct. 6

Posted 10/4/17

City of Englewood officials said Oct. 4 that the city's information technology staff detected a ransomware virus that impacted Englewood's municipal networks and systems.

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Ransomware virus downs all internal Englewood city systems

City said residents' info not compromised; services fully running Oct. 6

Posted

City of Englewood officials said Oct. 4 that the city's information technology staff detected a ransomware virus that impacted Englewood's municipal networks and systems.

Ransomware is a type of virus that generally interrupts computer systems or blocks access to them and demands that money be paid to restore the victim's access.

As of the afternoon of Oct. 6, servers for the Englewood Civic Center, Englewood Recreation Center, Malley Senior Recreation Center, Englewood Public Library were working as normal, said Alison Carney, spokeswoman for the city. Servers at the Littleton/Englewood Wastewater Treatment Plant still needed work. Englewood information technology staff got help from city and county of Denver IT staff, Carney said, who helped wipe and restore affected devices.

All services were up and running for the public, Carney said. Carney noted that the city did not pay any ransom.

Many city staff were able to work like normal Oct. 6, but many PCs were affected by the virus, Carney said, and still impeded work at that time.

City services will still be open and "we will continue to provide the best services possible given the circumstances," said Eric Keck, city manager, on Oct. 4. At that time, the Englewood Civic Center was able to process payment by cash or check, but could not run credit cards. The library was open, but some operations, like payments made on late fines or placing items on hold, could not be accepted. The Englewood Recreation Center and Malley Senior Recreation Center were open but could not take payments or register people for classes. All those services were functional as of Oct. 6.

IT specialists with the city worked to investigate and determine the scope of damage to the network after it was discovered the night of Oct. 3, a statement by the city said.

"All of our information indicates that personally identifiable information of employees and residents was not compromised or obtained through this attack," the statement said.

The city's understanding of the attack is that it encrypts or locks files to hold them hostage in hopes of getting a payment for their release, Carney said.

It "spreads through the system unless we shut down our networks, which we did," Carney said. "This is different from other attacks in that the information is encrypted, not 'stolen' off our network. Thus, some sensitive information may be encrypted, but (it's) not at risk of being accessed by an outside agent."

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