Knoxville Ransomware Attack Leads to IT Network Shutdown

Knoxville Ransomware Attack Leads to IT Network Shutdown

The incident occurred Wednesday and shuttered systems until Thursday. Also impacted was the city’s internal IT network, public website and court systems.

The ransomware attack hit the Tennessee city of Knoxville this week, causing disruptions in various services.

The city of Knoxville, Tenn. is reeling from a ransomware attack that knocked the city’s network offline and prevented police officers from responding to non-life-threatening traffic crashes. The incident occurred Wednesday and shuttered systems until Thursday. Also impacted was the city’s internal IT network, public website and court systems – forcing Friday court sessions to be rescheduled.

“Our Information Technology team acted swiftly and followed best-practices protocols to shut down the City’s computer network, identify and isolate problems, and minimize damage,” according to a city official press statement sent via email to Threatpost. “City offices and services are open and available as usual, though visitors to City offices may encounter some inconveniences. City departments are adjusting accordingly to address the needs of residents and businesses.”

While officials have not confirmed an initial source of the ransomware, local reports point to a spear-phishing email, which was opened by a city employee. No financial or personal information was compromised, according to the city.

Glenn Jacobs, the mayor of Knox county (which includes the city of Knoxville), said on Thursday, via Twitter, that while the county and city share basic network infrastructure, there’s no evidence of compromise on the county’s network. “We did pull back and sever the connectivity between all of our shared agencies until we are fully confident that the issue has been contained,” he said.

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