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New Committee Meets For First Time Following Baltimore Ransomware Attack

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- It's been six months since the day of the cybersecurity attack on Baltimore.

For the first time, a new committee met to discuss what exactly went wrong, and worked to find a solution for the future.

"We're a modern city, we need modern technology," Council President Brandon Scott said. "We need modern protection for Baltimore and all of our residents."

Security officials say the ransomware attack started around 6 p.m. May 6. No one, however, responded until 3:30 a.m.

They say the lack of communication, failed alert systems, and limited staffing exposed the city's emergency response efforts.

"We failed to react to those initial volume of alerts," Acting CIO Todd Carter said. "That was a gap in service that we recognize, and we recognize we have to fix that."

City officials say the attack cost the city up to $8 million and some data was permanently lost.

Meanwhile, glitches affected water bills for months.

"I can't pay it online, and I'm here now trying to pay it because I don't want my water shut off," a resident told WJZ in July.

The new $11 million plan aims to improve the network security systems and response teams that could prevent a future attack.

"We have a lot of lessons learned from communication," Deputy Chief of Staff of Operations Sheryl Goldstein said.

The committee didn't go into much detail about the attack because the FBI is still investigating.

The committee says they plan to keep the conversation going by holding another meeting to further discuss other measures they can take to prevent any future attack.

"This was very traumatic for the City of Baltimore," Scott said. "But we have to understand and learn from that and prevent it so it doesn't happen at all."

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