City Of Birmingham, Alabama: Hacked, Or Not?

City Of Birmingham, Alabama: Hacked, Or Not?

This week in cybersecurity from the editors at Cybercrime Magazine

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Sausalito, Calif. – Apr. 3, 2024 reports that for weeks, Birmingham city workers have been conducting business the old-fashioned way — on paper — as many computer systems experienced what Mayor Randall Woodfin’s office called a “network disruption.”

Multiple government sources have told that the city is the victim of a ransomware attack, with hackers gaining access to the city’s computer systems and demanding payment for the city to get its data back.

“It’s incredibly serious,” said one source at City Hall, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of a longstanding practice that the city’s communication office presents official information to the public.

Steve Morgan, founder of Cybersecurity Ventures and editor-in-chief at Cybercrime Magazine, told it’s not uncommon for governments to try keeping hacks secret.

“Unfortunately, all too often these start out as so-called ‘outages’ or ‘glitches’ or other descriptions so as to avoid reputational harm, embarrassment, or for other reasons,” said Morgan. “Oftentimes the victim organization will finally come forward announcing that it was in fact a breach or malicious intrusion.”

Cybercrime Magazine tracks new cyberattacks and data breaches in its daily “Who’s Hacked” feed.

“There are incidents when a city or municipality on the advice of law enforcement and/or an outside cybersecurity expert or company may deem it in the best interest of the organization to hold back information until such time that an incident has been fully investigated,” Morgan said.

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