Tulsa computer system hacks stopped by security shutdown | Oklahoma News

TULSA, Oklahoma (AP) – Most residents of Tulsa are barred from paying their water bills after the city shut down its computer network as a security measure following an attempted ransomware attack, said a city official on Friday.

The attempted breach was stopped before any personal data was viewed, city spokesman Carson Colvin said. Tulsa detected malware on its network on May 6 and immediately began shutting it down to prevent hackers from accessing anything sensitive.

“It didn’t go far enough into the system to get any personal data,” Colvin said.

The main effect of the shutdown – which could last anywhere from several days to around a month – is payment for city water services, online or in person, as the city cannot process credit or debit cards. with unusable computers.

Residents will have five days after online payments will again be possible to pay their bills without penalty, Colvin said.

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The city said Thursday that police and firefighters’ interventions were continuing, but issues such as downloading police body cameras are being slowed down due to the computer shutdown.

Mayor GT Bynum said on Thursday that the hackers asked the city to pay a ransom, otherwise it would announce that it had broken into the network, but Bynum said Tulsa did not pay and instead announced the violation on its own.

Bynum said the identity of the hackers is known, but he did not disclose who they are.

Federal investigators are helping the city, Bynum said.

Tulsa is the 33rd local government in the United States to fall victim to a ransomware attack this year, according to a tally maintained by ransomware expert Brett Callow, threat analyst for security firm Emsisoft.

Earlier this month, a ransomware attack by a criminal gang calling themselves DarkSide forced the shutdown of a vital U.S. pipeline that resulted in gas shortages. Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline announced last week that it had begun the process of restarting normal pipeline operations, delivering fuel to states from Texas to New Jersey.

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Gordon K. Morehouse