City of Lexington computer system down; 911 still works

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Center in downtown Lexington, Ky., on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019.

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Center in downtown Lexington, Ky., on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019.

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The city of Lexington took the majority of its internet-connected services offline on Friday after discovering “external interference.”

That means people can’t pay their bills online, access planning and other building-related documents, or register for park programs.

Emergency services including 911, police and fire departments are not affected by the outage. The city’s general phone line, 311, also still works.

Lexingtonky.gov and all city emails are still online, city officials said.

Other cities in Kentucky have been hit by ransomware attacks, including Paducah and Frankfort, in recent years. Paducah paid hackers a $30,000 ransom to regain access to its servers in February 2020.

Susan Straub, a city spokeswoman, said she was still investigating and did not yet know if it was a similar ransomware attack.

This story was originally published December 10, 2021 4:06 p.m.

Beth Musgrave has covered government and politics for the Herald-Leader for more than a decade. A graduate of Northwestern University, she has worked as a journalist in Kentucky, Indiana, Mississippi, Illinois and Washington DC.

Gordon K. Morehouse