City of Atlanta will have to pay at least another $ 9.5 million to recover from ransomware

The city of Atlanta in the United States was the victim of a ransomware attack on March 22 which made many of its services inaccessible. Rarely, official documents from the city released in mid-April revealed the cost of the attack: $ 2.7 million, not counting lost work hours and legal costs.

Updated June 7 : The cost to restore services to the municipality will be much higher than expected. The city now estimates that it will have to spend an additional $ 9.5 million in addition to the $ 2.7 million already spent. And this is only a temporary estimate, which could be further increased. It has also been revealed that more than a third of the 424 programs operating in the city of Atlanta have been put out of use by malware, and that almost 30% of the programs in question are considered critical to their proper functioning. from the city. The city’s judicial center has notably lost 10 years of legal documents, and the police video archives have also been lost.

All services have not yet been restored

The 2.7 million spent so far breaks down this way: $ 650,000 has been paid to SecureWorks for its emergency response services to the incident, $ 600,000 has gone to Ernst & Young for consultancy in response to the incident, $ 60,000 to Cisco for security incident response services, $ 60,000 was allocated to Mosaic451 to reinforce the city’s emergency workforce to deal with the event, and $ 50,000 dollars were paid to the Edelman agency for a crisis communication service.

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In addition, $ 730,000 was paid to Fyrsoft, $ 393,328 to Airnet Group and $ 124,000 to Pioneer Technology Group for an intervention on the city’s information system. Note, however, that the city’s services have not yet been fully restored, and that the amounts committed could therefore continue to increase.

The criminals originally demanded a ransom of $ 51,000, which the city apparently did not pay. Paying a ransom is generally a bad idea, but we can especially regret that the city did not undertake to secure its network upstream of this attack, which would have cost it much less … An lesson to remember to avoid to be next?

Julien Bergounhoux

@JBergounhoux

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