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Email System of Quincy got Hacked

People receiving strange emails from the '@quincyma.gov' email address might be victims of the hacking scheme that has attacked the Quincy City Hall recently (i.e. few weeks ago). In Norfolk County of Massachusetts, United States, the largest city is Quincy. It is part of one of the immediate southern suburbs of Boston and the Metropolitan Boston.

 

A spokesperson for mayor's office, Chris Walker, said that the city's emails got hacked, and then used for online phishing scam. Email phishing is a cyber attacking method that is happening more often. In an email phishing scheme, the hackers send emails which appear to be coming from the legitimate sources. In the email, there is an attachment or a link that normally asks for information such as user names, passwords, account numbers and credit card numbers.

 

"Basically every city department was impacted," said Chris Walker. Between November 21, 2018 (i.e. Wednesday before Thanksgiving), and November 25, 2018 (i.e. Sunday), the IT (Information Technology) department purposely shut down all the city servers as well as computers for removing the virus. The city website as well as the emails was down for holiday weekend.

 

"Members of our IT department physically went building to building to make sure everything was cleaned up in those five days," Walker said.

 

Chris Walker further said on Monday (i.e. on December 3, 2018) that the city was attacked by Emotet virus. The Emotet virus spreads by sending emails having infected attachments; the email attachments in this instance have been labeled as invoice, said Walker. Those receiving any kind of unsolicited email from Quincy city (i.e. from the quincyma.gov email address) having an attachment should avoid opening that attachments' or in fact the email itself. Moreover, the unsolicited email must be deleted from the inbox to avoid becoming victim to the Emotet virus.

 

Walker said that "the virus has been neutralized, but there are still some lingering issues - symptoms - that are still filtering their way through the system and being worked on by IT". He added that it would not be much longer when the situation will be fully resolved.

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