- The ransomware attack infected the City’s computers and servers.
- On July 2, 2019, the city’s IT team recovered all the encrypted files and restored the city services to normal operations as they had a backup computer system in place.
Richmond Heights City Hall suffered a ransomware attack on July 1, 2019. The ransomware attack infected the City’s computers and servers. However, email and internet services were not affected.
Mayor David Roche said the ransomware infected the City Hall when someone opened a phishing email from an anonymous sender. The ransomware encrypted all the files and the infected computer screen displayed the ransom note, demanding a ransom payment in bitcoins. However, how many dollars worth bitcoins were demanded remains unknown.
“They get into your machine (computer) and they encrypt all your files, and then they say, ‘Give us a bunch of bitcoin and we’ll give you the encryption code to un-encrypt your files.' So, it’s a ransom. It’s a bitcoin thing. Then, they’ll tell you how to convert your credit card to bitcoin,” said Roche about the ransomware infection.
What was the response?
- Upon discovery, City officials reported the incident to Richmond Heights Police Department (RHPD) and the FBI.
- On July 02, 2019, the city’s IT team recovered all the encrypted files and restored the city services to normal operations as they had a backup computer system in place.
- However, the RHPD and FBI are continuing to investigate the incident in order to determine the source of the attack.
- The city’s IT team is also reviewing its security in order to ensure proper backup in the event of a future infection.
“The City Hall’s computer system appears to be functioning normally at this time, but will be monitored closely to ensure its data is protected,” Police Chief Thomas Wetzel said, Cleveland reported.