Earlier this year, Spiceworks posted a story about the city of Atlanta spending $2.7M to clean up after a devastating SamSam ransomware attack in March that crippled city networks for weeks. At the time, we knew that affected services included online bill payments and the municipal court system.
In a June 6 Atlanta budget meeting, more details about the ransomware incident came to light. It turns out that the damage caused by the Atlanta ransomware attack was far greater than initially reported. Here’s a quick summary:
- 140 applications were affected, 30% of which were mission critical
- The Atlanta City Attorney’s office lost 71 computers and 10 years of documents
- The Atlanta police permanently lost years of dashcam footage
And here’s the kicker, the city is requesting an additional $9.5M to recover from the attack. That’s on top of the $2.7M already spent earlier this year.
More information from a TechCrunch report:
On Wednesday during a budget meeting, Daphne Rackley, Atlanta’s Interim Chief Information Officer and head of Atlanta Information Management, disclosed new details about the extent of the damage. As Reuters reports, at least one third of the 424 software programs that the city runs remain offline or partially inoperable. Almost 30 percent of those programs are deemed “mission critical” by the city meaning that they control crucial city services like the court system and law enforcement. In the meeting, Rackley explained that the city initially believed only 20 percent of the city’s software programs to be affected by the attack, none of which affected critical systems. While reporting the updated numbers, Rackley estimated that $9.5 million would need to be added to the department’s $35 million budget to address the remaining damage. That amount is on top of the more than two million dollars in emergency procurements sought by Atlanta Information Management following the attack.
The next time someone questions whether it’s a good investment to spend on cybersecurity, just remember you can point them to this ongoing $12.2M debacle that crippled an entire city’s government for weeks and resulted in significant data loss.