City working to ID source of ransomware attack
By Ginger Livingston
The Daily Reflector
Thursday, April 11, 2019
The city of Greenville is prepared to go “a couple of days” with limited computer operations following a ransomware virus attack on Wednesday, a spokesman said.
The city’s information technology staff was joined by IT professionals from other counties and municipalities to determine the source of the virus and the extent of the infection, said Brock Letchworth, the city’s communications manager. The city has shut down the majority of its servers for the foreseeable future.
“It’s ransomware. We have received a request for payment but that is all I can say at this point,” Letchworth said.
“The plan for IT is to gradually bring things back online as they try to figure out where it came from and what are options are,” he said.
Police and fire emergency communications are unaffected by the virus, Letchworth said. The Greenville Utilities Commission is not affected because its computer system is separate from the city’s, a GUC spokeswoman said.
Other city operations are continuing as normal, Letchworth said, but people who want to make payments must do so with cash.
“We have no reason at this time to believe any personal information has been compromised,” Letchworth said.
The virus was discovered in the early morning hours by a member of the Greenville Police Department.
Employees with the city’s information technology division were contacted and they decided to shut down the system, Letchworth said.
“It is important to note that computers don't run cities. People do,” Letchworth said. “All of our operations are continuing, although we are having to adjust some of the ways that we do things in some areas.”
That includes the Greenville City Council meeting which begins at 6 p.m. today.
Letchworth said the meeting still is scheduled to be broadcast live on Suddenlink Channel 9, the city’s public access channel. However, staff still was working on Wednesday night to ensure the computer system that records and replays the meetings will be operational, Letchworth said.
Powerpoint presentations are used during the meeting to ensure people in the council chambers and watching on television can see the materials council members are reviewing. Letchworth said laptops will be brought in to ensure the presentations can be made.
Contact Ginger Livingston at firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-329-9570.