Colorado city pays $45,000 ransom after cyber-attack - Albuquerque Journal

Colorado city pays $45,000 ransom after cyber-attack

BOULDER, Colo. — Lafayette, Colorado, officials announced Tuesday the city’s computer systems were hacked and they were forced to pay a ransom to regain access.

Lafayette officials said hackers disabled the city’s network services and blocked its access until the city paid a $45,000 fee, the Daily Camera reported.

The attack caused city emails, phones, online payments and reservation systems to temporarily shut down.

The city’s system servers and computers are still in the process of being cleaned and rebuilt. Once finished, the relevant data will be restored into the system and operations will resume. In the meantime, the city is using temporary phone numbers and emails.

“In a cost/benefit scenario of rebuilding the city’s data versus paying the ransom, the ransom option far outweighed attempting to build,” the city said in a statement. “The inconvenience of a lengthy service outage for residents was also taken into consideration.”

A preliminary investigation shows the ransomware entered the city’s network through a phishing scam or by guessing passwords.

Mayor Jamie Harkins said using taxpayer dollars to pay a ransom was not ideal.

“We attempted to pursue any possible avenue to avoid paying the ransom,” Harkins said. “Staff worked to determine the severity of the attack while analyzing data and backups to find alternative solutions.”

The city said personal credit card information was not compromised. There was no evidence that showed personal data was stolen, but the city asked its residents to monitor their accounts for suspicious activity.

City officials said they would be sending security-breach notifications to those who have personal information on the city’s network.

In response to the attack, City Administrator Fritz Sprague enacted a declaration of local disaster emergency that allows for outside assistance from the state, neighboring jurisdictions and private contractors.

The declaration will be in effect for seven days unless it is extended by the City Council. The council is set to consider the extension on Tuesday.

To combat future attacks, the city said it is installing crypto-safe backups, deploying additional cybersecurity systems and implementing regular vulnerability assessments.

Home » Business » Most Recent Biz News » Colorado city pays $45,000 ransom after cyber-attack


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
NTSB investigators look into fatal Missouri Amtrak accident
ABQnews Seeker
Investigators with the National Transportation Safety ... Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board were in Missouri Tuesday trying to determine how an Amtrak train carrying more than 200 people slammed ...
2
46 migrants found dead in abandoned trailer in San ...
Around the Region
Forty-six people were found dead after ... Forty-six people were found dead after being abandoned in a tractor-trailer on a remote back road in San Antonio in the latest tragedy to ...
3
Some cities nix July 4 fireworks for shortages, fire ...
Around the Region
The skies over a scattering of ... The skies over a scattering of Western U.S. cities will stay dark for the third consecutive Fourth of July as some major fireworks displays ...
4
Giffords documentary comes as gun debates stay center stage
Around the Region
In the two years documentary filmmakers ... In the two years documentary filmmakers shadowed former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, the most jarring moment for them was in the kitchen of her Tucson, ...
5
Sweltering streets: Hundreds of homeless die in extreme heat
ABQnews Seeker
Hundreds of blue, green and grey ... Hundreds of blue, green and grey tents are pitched under the sun's searing rays in downtown Phoenix, a jumble of flimsy canvas and plastic ...
6
Uvalde victim's sister pleads for tougher gun laws in ...
Around the Region
Well before the sun came up ... Well before the sun came up Thursday, Jazmin Cazares sat on her sister's bed and wept for the 9-year-old killed in the Uvalde school ...
7
Delta wins right to stay at Dallas airport after ...
Around the Region
Delta Air Lines will be able ... Delta Air Lines will be able to continue operating flights at Dallas Love Field for another six years, under a settlement approved by the ...
8
Official named to monitor primary in third Colorado county
Around the Region
Colorado's secretary of state has appointed ... Colorado's secretary of state has appointed a supervisor to monitor Tuesday's primary elections in a third county after some residents received ballots with the ...
9
Border Patrol paroles migrants to avoid massive overcrowding
ABQnews Seeker
The warehouse on a busy but ... The warehouse on a busy but unremarkable strip of auto repair shops and convenience stores draws little attention from passersby. Inside, hundreds of migrants ...