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Ohio city reveals nearly 6,000 affected by recent ransomware attack | #ransomware | #cybercrime | #hacking | #aihp

Officials at the Dayton suburb of Huber Heights, Ohio, this week announced new details of a ransomware attack that disabled city computer systems last November. 

City Manager Rick Dzik told the Dayton Daily News that the personal information of nearly 6,000 people was compromised by the recent ransomware attack, which disrupted the city’s zoning, engineering, tax, finance, utilities, human resources and economic development divisions last November. Dzik said he learned of the extent of the attack from a report shared with the city on Friday by a data mining company that had been tasked with investigating the incident.

“[It’s likely] 5,738 people had some data taken, but only 2,038 of them had enough information taken to require further monitoring,” he told Dayton Daily News.

Dzik said the city has received dozens of phone calls from citizens who were concerned about the possibility of their data having been compromised since the city of nearly 45,000 residents discovered the incident on Nov. 12.

He didn’t disclose details about the attackers, such as which ransomware group they were affiliated with, if they asked for a ransom or if the city would agree to pay a ransom.

Huber Heights City Council approved up to $800,000 to be spent to recover from the ransomware attack, a project that entails rebuilding the city’s computer network. Dzik said the city has ordered equipment and that the new network will be complete within the next three months.

Dzik told local NBC news affiliate WDTN that the city is also seeking to hire a new IT director who will be tasked with developing a plan to prevent future attacks.

Ransomware continues to threaten the bottom lines and sensitive data troves of state and local government agencies. According to the cybersecurity firm Recorded Future, 2023 brought a 70% increase in reported ransomware attacks year over year, which Recorded Future analyst Allan Liska this month called “a really bad trend.”

Written by Colin Wood

Colin Wood is the editor in chief of StateScoop and EdScoop. He’s reported on government information technology policy for more than a decade, on topics including cybersecurity, IT governance and public safety.

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