A week of disorder in Cleveland, as City Hall remains closed after ransomware attack

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland’s City Hall remained closed to the public Friday, as officials in Ohio’s second-largest city continued to grapple with the effects of a ransomware attack.

City operations have been hampered all week by the threat, which was first detected Sunday.

A spokeswoman for Democratic Mayor Justin Bibb told Cleveland.com on Friday that the ransomware has since been “contained,” but she couldn’t say whether the city has agreed to pay the ransom or will consider paying it. She also declined to say how much ransom was sought, adding that there was little she could disclose to the public because of the ongoing investigation by state and federal authorities.

After shutting down most systems and closing City Hall and a second government location to both residents and employees early in the week, Bibb tried bringing employees back on Wednesday. A host of problems ensued, including trouble processing building permits and birth and death certificates in two of the city’s busiest departments.

Bibb’s administration said the city had made encouraging progress on its first day back and characterized Wednesday’s events as “expected challenges” as systems are recovered. But he again ordered City Hall closed to the public, and officials said Friday it will remain closed on Monday. It’s not yet known how long the closure will continue, but employees are back on the job.

Cleveland officials were referring residents to the neighboring cities of Parma and Lakewood for some services, and certain online options appeared to be functional.

Akron had to shut down some city functions after a cyberattack in 2019.

Source: wral.com