>> Atlanta on Saturday still struggling in the aftermath of a major cyber attack that plunged the city into technological chaos. The city's websites were hacked over a week ago, forcing public servants to revert to paper record keeping methods phased out years ago. Reuters reporter Laila Kearney is there.
>> Behind me at Atlanta City Hall, city officials and investigators are working through the holiday weekend to restore services brought down by a cyber attack considered to be one of the worst to strike a major US city>> While Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has not detailed the scope of the attack, employees and elected officials tell me many computers are still down and data across departments is missing.
>> The unknown hackers demanded $51,000 worth of Bitcoin to provide digital keys to unlock scrambled files. But Mayor Bottoms has declined to say if the city paid the ransom ahead of the March 29th deadline mentioned in an extortion note. While some critical systems remain down, city council staffers are working off their personal laptops and cell phones, still unsure when it might be safe to turn on their work computers.
An Atlanta Police spokesperson also told Reuters that in the wake of the breach, the department had been taking written case notes and had lost access to some investigative databases. Now some city officials are worried about how much the recovery will cost the city. Ransomware attacks like this have surged in recent years as cyber extortionists have moved from attacking individual computers to large institutions.
Previous high profile hacks have shut down factories, prompted hospitals to turn away patients and have crippled government agencies. The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are helping Atalanta respond to the attack.