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New Orleans taken offline by major cyberattack

(Image credit: Future)

The City of New Orleans has had to shut down much of its computing network after  the public sector organisation was found to be under attack

We still don't know if the city was under a ransomware attack or if it was a different kind of malware (although some reports have claimed the Ryuk ransomware was to blame) but a temporary web site has been set up to bypass the downtime, and that no user data was compromised.

During the weekend, NOLA Ready, the city's emergency preparedness Twitter account tweeted about the incident, saying: "Out of an abundance of caution, all employees were immediately alerted to power down computers, unplug devices & disconnect from WiFi. All servers have been powered down as well."

On Sunday, the NOLA.gov website was brought offline for "unplanned maintenance", and at this moment, it remains offline.

Emergency services such as 911 and the fire department are still operational, it was said. Both the FBI and Secret Service are assisting with the investigation.

In a press release following the incident, the city said that the City Hall will open for business this morning, even though “individual agencies and departments will be impacted in various ways”.

The regular nola.gov website may be offline, but the city’s management has set up a temporary web site which allows citizens to make 3-1-1 requests for service; pay sales, use; and parking taxes; and pay parking and camera ticks.

The full list of different city departments, and how the attack affected them, can be found on this link.