The City of New Orleans has suffered a cybersecurity attack which started at 5 a.m. CST on Friday, December 13.
NOLA Ready tweeted that "suspicious activity was detected on the City’s network," and as investigations progressed, "activity indicating a cybersecurity incident was detected.” Phishing attempts and suspicious activity were detected on the city's network . All City servers were powered down and employees told to unplug any of their devices. This was a ransomware attack as Mayor LaToya Cantrell confirmed. He declared a state of emergency in connection with the incident. At this time, the city does not believe any employee information was compromised.
Emergency communications had not been affected. The police and fire departments continued to operate as usual, and the ability to respond to 911 calls was not impacted. The recovery process is ongoing. No ransom demand has been made at this point. The incident is being investigated by the city with assistance from the Louisiana State Police, Louisiana National Guard, the FBI and Secret Service. The ransomware attack that has hit New Orleans follows another that targeted the state of Louisiana in November. In August, 23 government agencies were taken offline by a cyber-attack on the State of Texas.