Ransomware

The culprit

Ransomware is defined by PC Magazine as a type of malware that works by encrypting its victims’ files, and then refuses to unlock them unless you pay up.

Some ransomware viruses may be removed without losing your files, but some variants are more damaging.

Some procedures to remove a ransomware involve a simple virus scan, while others require offline scans and advanced file recovery.

The city of Del Rio computer systems were targeted by a ransomware, a type of malicious software that hijacks user data and demands ransom to release the computers back, a spokesperson for the city said Thursday afternoon.

The cyberattack, which is currently under investigation by the Secret Service according to the city, affected several departments and will reflect in changes to daily operations including services provided to the public.

“The City of Del Rio was attacked by ransomware earlier today, which led to servers at City Hall being disabled,” the city said in a release.

The city’s Management Information Services Department isolated the ransomware, which necessitated turning off the internet connection for all city departments and not allowing employees to log into the system.

“Due to this, transactions at City Hall are being done manually with paper,” the city said.

Public Relations Manager Victoria Vargas said citizens wishing to pay utility bills may continue to do so, “all we ask is that they bring in their bill. If they don’t have their bill they can come in and make a payment in the amount they wish to do so until the server is back up,” she said.

The city will also continue to receive property tax payments, but they will only be receiving checks and cash.

“We encourage citizens to bring their statements since we cannot search their information at this point. If they don’t know how much they owe they can visit www.trueautomation.com Visit property tax search type City of Del Rio and view how much they owe on there.”

The transportation department was also affected by the cyberattack, but it will continue to operate with some changes. To verify an appointment city officials are asking users to call the transportation office at (830) 774 8695.

The city is currently unaware of how long it will take to restore the servers back to service, Vargas said.

After shutting down the servers, the city reported the attack to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to report the ransomware, and was referred to the Secret Service.

“The city is diligently working on finding the best solution to resolve this situation and restore the system. We ask the public to be patient with us as we may be slower in processing requests at this time,” the city said in the release.

At this point the city is uncertain whether anyone’s personal data, including both employee and customer data, has been compromised.

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