The cities of Oakland and Modesto, California are attacked by Ransomware

The cities of Oakland and Modesto, California are attacked by ransomware this week, shutting down government services and forcing “old school policing” in one city.

Two city governments in California – Oakland and Modesto – were knocked offline in simultaneous ransomware attacks this week, forcing police in one city to fall back on “old school policing,” including the use of handheld radios, pens, and paper during patrols.

Oakland officials have confirmed a ransomware attack on municipal networks. Government officials, posted a statement on the city’s website as;

“The City of Oakland has learned that it was recently subject to a ransomware attack that began on Wednesday night. The Information Technology Department is coordinating with law enforcement and actively investigating the scope and severity of the issue. Our core functions are intact. 911, financial data, and fire and emergency resources are not impacted.

The City is following industry best practices and developing a response plan to address the issue. In an abundance of caution, ITD has taken affected systems offline while they work to secure and restore services safely. In the meantime, the public should expect delays from the City as a result. We are actively monitoring the situation and sending updated information as it becomes available”.

A ransomware attack has not been publicly confirmed by Modesto officials and they confirmed that they have detected “suspicious activity” within their networks.

“Upon learning of this suspicious activity, we strategically disconnected portions of our network out of an abundance of caution. We have also initiated an investigation with leading cyber security experts,” officials stated.