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Cornelia City faced ransomware attack for the third-time this year


City of Cornelia in Habersham County again faced a ransomware attack in the last week of September 2019. Habersham County is located in south-eastern U.S. state of Georgia. This ransomware attack was on Cornelia City's computerized billing system, which resulted in one day of productivity lost.


Donald Anderson, the City Manager, said that "we did not get to the point of like Atlanta where they actually held us [for] ransom. We were able to go back to our off-storage back-ups to the day before and get us up and running, but it did shut us down for a day".


The ransomware attack attempt also had delayed water bills as the city workers already had started processing them, and now they had to start all over again from the beginning. Any account information was not compromised in this ransomware attack, Anderson said.


This most recent incident of ransomware attack is the third that the City of Cornelia has faced in the year 2019. However, this time the city leaders have been taking steps in order to make sure that it does not happen again.


Anderson said that "unfortunately, all three times it's actually come in through our software. The other two times this year, it actually shut us down for multiple days, so for that reason tonight we approved the purchase of a new firewall to help fix this".


Around $30,000 expenditure to the Omega Technology Group in City of Cornelia will be paid for the firewall, along with software and support during the next five years. The present firewall is over 10 yrs. old, and thus is no longer updated or supported by the company due to its age.


In fact about 1 year to 1.5 year ago, the city of Cornelia did not even have a full-time IT (Information Technology) person. At that time, the city contracted someone for providing this service from offsite.


At present, Jeremy Dundore, Cornelia city's dedicated Information Technology director, is developing the plans so as to make the needed improvements to technology of the city for efficiency as well as security. Anderson said that "he's finding all kinds of things that need to be addressed. This is something he's been telling me about for a while, but after the incident last week we felt it was time to go ahead and get it done".


» SPAMfighter News - 10/22/2019

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