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Oakland declares local state of emergency over ransomware attack

PIX Now 08:53

OAKLAND -- Oakland declared a local state of emergency Tuesday because of ongoing impacts of a ransomware attack that has resulted in network outages to the city's systems.

The city announced that Interim City Administrator G. Harold Duffey issued the state of emergency in order to allow the city to activate emergency workers, expedite the procurement of equipment and materials to restore systems, and issue orders on an expedited basis.

The ransomware attack began the evening of Feb. 8, police and city officials said Friday. Such attacks involve someone encrypting files and demanding ransom to decrypt them. The encryption makes the files and the systems that rely on them unusable, according to the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

Oakland's information technology department was working with law enforcement and a third party forensics firm to determine the scope and severity of the attack. City officials did not release the amount of ransom the attackers are asking for.

The city said 911 dispatch, fire emergency services, and financial systems were not impacted. 

"However, because we took the network offline to contain the attack, many systems are impacted & remain down as Departments develop plans to continue providing services safely to the public," said a statement from the city. "This continues to be an ongoing investigation with multiple local, state, and federal agencies involved. We appreciate our community's patience while departments work to restore services."

The public also can still file crime reports on the city's website. Residents and visitors can expect delays in hearing from city staff and officials. 

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