Devastating Ransomware Attack: Oakland Declares State of Emergency

by | February 27, 2023 | Cybersecurity News

In the wake of a massive ransomware attack that left the city with no choice but to shut its IT systems down, Oakland has declared a local state of emergency.

The Ransomware Attack Began on February 8

G. Harold Duffey, interim City Administrator, declared a state of emergency on February 14 in order to allow the City of Oakland, California, to put together a mitigating plan, expedite orders, materials, and equipment procurement, and activate emergency workers when the necessity arises.

“Today, Interim City Administrator, G. Harold Duffey issued a local state of emergency due to the ongoing impacts of the network outages resulting from the ransomware attack that began on Wednesday, February 8,” a statement issued recently notes.

The breach did not compromise core services, such as police, ambulance, and firefighters. So, the 911 dispatch, fire and emergency resources are working as usually.

While the recent ransomware attack did not affect anything other than non-emergency services, many of the systems were taken offline right after the breach happened in order to stop the threat from reaching core services. Those systems are still offline.

“As previously communicated, the network outage has impacted many non-emergency systems including our ability to collect payments, process reports, and issue permits and licenses. As a result, some of our buildings are closed. We encourage the public to email the service counters they want to visit before coming to City buildings.”

“The City of Oakland continues to work around the clock to implement recovery plans that will restore impacted systems as quickly and as securely as possible.”

No Culprit In Sight

The threat actor responsible for the incident still remains unknown. Oakland City has not disclosed any further information about ransom demands or possible data theft from impacted systems yet.

“The City’s IT Department is working with a leading forensics firm to perform an extensive incident response and analysis, as well as with additional cybersecurity and technology firms on recovery and remediation efforts,” the statement read.

“This continues to be an ongoing investigation with multiple local, state, and federal agencies involved.”

Ransomware attack forced Oakland to declare state of emergency
Oakland proclamation of local state of emergency

Security Awareness Training to Increase Your Company’s Ransomware Resiliency

If one ransomware attack can force an entire city to go into a state of emergency, imagine the impact it would have on your company.

Many ransomware attacks happen via phishing emails, and threat actors prey on potential human error.

The only way to combat human error is by providing your employees with a solid and comprehensive Security Awareness Training program, such as ours.

Researching the latest phishing trends and strategies and adequately training your employees can be a hassle, so leave it to professionals.

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  • Malicious file replicas – our emails contain malware file replicas, to make the simulation as realistic as it can be.
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ATTACK Simulator’s Security Awareness Training program will help you equip your employees with the necessary security knowledge and up-to-date security practices to keep your company safe from scammers and avoid potentially irreparable damage.


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Feature Image: Photo by Michael Geiger on Unsplash

by Diana Panduru

Content writer for Attack Simulator. Passionate about all things writing and cybersecurity, and obsessed with driving. I sometimes indulge in pencil drawing, poetry, and cooking for fun.

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