The city of New Orleans was hit by a ransomware and all the employees were immediately alerted to power down computers, unplug devices and disconnect from the city’s WiFi.
The nola.gov website is also offline, being shut down with the rest of the city’s servers.
According to local media reports, in order to make sure employees powered down computers as soon as possible, the officials used the city hall’s public loudspeakers systems to alert employees of the cyber-attack.
Besides city hall, the incident also affected the New Orleans Police Department, which shut down its IT network in entirety as well.
Police officers are still in the field, using radios and other backup communications services, even though they do not access to historical data stored on the department’s servers.
However, New Orleans officials confirmed that 911 emergency services were not affected.
Mayor Cantrell said in a press conference that the investigation into the attack is still ongoing, and that the city knows it’s ransomware, but they have not received or found a ransom demand yet.
The Louisiana State Police, FBI New Orleans, the Louisiana National Guard, and the Secret Service are helping the city investigate and recover from the attack.
This incident is the third ransomware incident reported in the state of Louisiana. In August, three school districts were hit by ransomware and the second incident took place last month when a ransomware attack encrypted data on the Louisiana state government’s IT network.
New Orleans is the third major US city to deal with a ransomware attack in recent years after similar attacks have hit Atlanta and Baltimore.