Cyberattack at Pensacola impacts city-wide government systems

  • City officials became aware of the attack at about 1:30 am (6:30 GMT) Saturday.
  • There hasn’t been any official statement about connections between the two types of attacks in the same city.

On Friday, there was a shooting incident at Pensacola Naval Air Station. In less than 24 hrs of the incident, a cyberattack joined the evil tidings crippled the city.

What happened?

Computer networks of Pensacola were hit over the weekend affecting several services in the city.

  • City officials became aware of the attack at about 1:30 am (6:30 GMT) Saturday.
  • In the shooting on Friday in the city, a Saudi flight student had killed three sailors and wounded eight others.
  • There were opinions being made on whether the two attacks are linked in some way.

However, there hasn’t been any official statement about connections between the two types of attacks in the same city.

Attack analysis

With fewer details available on the attack, much of the city’s network was disconnected until a solution for the problem was found.

  • The type of cyber incident, and how many computers were affected is still unclear to authorities.
  • But, the online payment systems at Pensacola Energy and for city sanitation were among the affected.
  • As per the information available on these systems, investigating authorities are now trying to learn if any data was exposed.

"I can confirm the city of Pensacola has experienced a cyberattack and we've disconnected much of our city's network until the issue can be resolved," said the city's spokeswoman, Kaycee Lagarde.

Steps taken post-attack

  • Most of the systems were brought offline immediately so that the IT department could work on the corrective measures.
  • Computer-based communication, including email, was down other emergency services including police and fire departments, 911 service weren’t affected. The airport also wasn’t hit.

"We severed things immediately as soon as we found out we were having this problem," said Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson in a press conference.

Further details

The Mayor did not comment on whether there has been a ransom demand by the attackers or not, which would reveal the type of attack the city faced.

Earlier around the mid of this year, two Florida cities paid out large ransoms in response to cyberattacks. Lake City paid out $426,000 worth of bitcoin, and Riviera Beach paid out $600,000 to hackers. This might have emboldened the attackers to some extent.