The “SamSam” ransomware attack against Atlanta’s government has turned out to be more damaging than it first appeared – according to city Information Management head Daphney Rackley, more than a third of Atlanta’s 424 necessary programs were knocked offline or partly disabled, and close to 30 percent of those affected apps were “mission critical” (i.e. court and police systems). Initial reports incorrectly indicated that those essential systems had not been impacted.
According to department leaders, the City Attorney’s office lost 71 of 77 computers and a decade of documents, while the police lost their entire dash cam video recording archive.
The cost of recovering from this attack are continuing to mount as well, with an estimated $9.5 million required over the next year per Rackley (in addition to the $2 million already spent as of April). Deputy CFO John Gaffney points out that the city is still in the “response phase”, and has yet to determine final costs, so that figure may keep growing.
So, while Atlanta avoided paying the initial $51,000 ransom (with no guarantees that the attackers would decrypt their data or settle for that amount), this attack has truly turned out to be a lose-lose scenario.
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