City of Pensacola hit by ransomware attack

A cyberattack, later confirmed to be ransomware, hit the city of Pensacola, Florida on Saturday, and the city is currently in the process of responding.

The city of Pensacola is currently responding to a cyberattack that took place over the weekend, though details about the incident are scarce.

The city, which first announced the security incident Monday morning, did not initially disclose specific information about the attack "for security reasons," but later confirmed via the city's Facebook page that it was hit with ransomware. While Pensacola city services have remained mostly operational, the attack impacted city emails, certain city landlines, 311 customer services online and online bill payments for certain departments, including Pensacola Energy and City of Pensacola Sanitation Services. Emergency and 911 services, along with the city's website and online permitting services, were not impacted and remain operational. In an update on Tuesday afternoon, the city said that email servers were being brought back online, and most city landlines have been restored.

The attack was first detected early Saturday morning, according to a statement from the Pensacola city government. Additional systems and services were impacted because, as the state said, "Technology Resources staff disconnected computers from the city's network until the issue can be resolved."

Pensacola's response to its attack was similar to the Louisiana state government's reaction to a ransomware attack last month; after initially detecting ransomware infections on some state servers, Louisiana's Office of Technology Services took down the rest of the state's network to limit the spread of the infection.

The attack against Pensacola marks the latest incident in a line of cyberattacks against municipalities this year. In May, a ransomware attack paralyzed a variety of city services in Baltimore. In August, a ransomware attack hit 22 municipalities in Texas.

Pensacola's statement also mentioned Friday's shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, during which four people were killed, including the assailant. "In light of the shooting Friday at Naval Air Station Pensacola, the City of Pensacola notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security and Florida Department of Law Enforcement about the incident as a precaution," the statement said.

The city's Facebook page noted on Dec. 10 that Technology Resources was still working to restore disabled network and city services. The city said it does not have an estimate for when services will be fully restored.

Pensacola's city government did not respond to requests for comment.

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