City Provides Update on Baltimore Ransomware Attack
Friday May 17th, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD. — Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young Issued the following update on the status of city operations in the wake of the ransomware attack on city network systems:
“As everyone is aware, we discovered on May 7, 2019 that the City was the victim of a ransomware attack. We immediately went into incident response mode, quickly took services and systems offline to contain the attack, and activated key partners to help us investigate and respond. We established a web-based incident command, shifted operations into manual mode and established other workarounds to facilitate the continued delivery of services to the public. We continue to adjust and refine the delivery of those services that were only partly interrupted and to pursue ways to reactivate any services that were completely interrupted.
We are well into the restorative process, and as I’ve indicated, are cooperating with the FBI on their investigation. Due to that investigation, we are not able to share information about the attack. To the extent that we can, we will continue to keep you informed about our process.
As I’ve mentioned previously, we engaged leading industry cybersecurity experts who are on-site 24-7 working with us. As part of our containment strategy, we deployed enhanced monitoring tools throughout our network to gain additional visibility. As you can imagine, with approximately 7,000 users, this takes time.
Some of the restoration efforts also require that we rebuild certain systems to make sure that when we restore business functions, we are doing so in a secure manner.
I am not able to provide you with an exact timeline on when all systems will be restored. Like any large enterprise, we have thousands of systems and applications. Our focus is getting critical services back online, and doing so in a manner that ensures we keep security as one of our top priorities throughout this process. You may see partial services beginning to restore within a matter of weeks, while some of our more intricate systems may take months in the recovery process.
The mayor’s office, city agencies, and departments continue to work very closely with Baltimore City Information Technology (BCIT) to identify restoration priorities and assist with the recovery process. Where possible, City agencies have enacted feasible alternatives and are continuing to do so.
Finally, my recently named Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Mrs. Sheryl Goldstein, begins her term on Monday, May 20. I’ve tasked her with advancing those performance management standards and analytics to effectively measure the impact of this incident and inform decisions going forward. Expect to receive regular updates from her about this incident and the City’s ongoing response.
Again, we appreciate the public’s patience as we work to restore normal operations."