New Orleans still feeling effects of cyberattack

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell declared a state of emergency after a cyberattack.

City scheduled to begin recovery process Tuesday

New Orleans still is experiencing the effects of a cyberattack that left City Hall paralyzed Friday. The impact will continue to be felt this week, according to media outlets.

The attack followed similar episodes in other major cities, including Baltimore and Atlanta, as well as a recent one targeting Louisiana’s Office of Motor Vehicles.

»MORE: Feds: Iranians led cyberattack against Atlanta, other U.S. entities

On Monday night, officials said the forensic investigation is ongoing and they believe city data is recoverable, according to The city is scheduled to begin the recovery process Tuesday.

“This is a very serious situation. A security breach. It’s one of public safety. ... We know this is not only the new normal but it is a priority for the administration to invest in our infrastructure, and that includes cybersecurity,” New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said at the news conference.

Thursday’s City Council meeting also might be affected, Council President Helena Moreno said in a statement Sunday evening.

Cantrell declared a state of emergency after a cyberattack Friday prompted officials to preemptively shut down computers and servers connected to the city.

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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards extended the statewide state of emergency connected to previous cyberattacks.

Kim LaGrue, New Orleans’ chief information officer, said suspicious activity was spotted in the city's network about 5 a.m. Friday. Experts reportedly uncovered a “cybersecurity incident” about 11 a.m., and the city took action to contain the threat.

LaGrue said investigators found evidence of phishing attempts and ransomware. She added no city employees provided information to would-be scammers.

»MORE: Cyberattack 'crippling' for Georgia courts

The incident is being investigated by city officials, Louisiana State Police, the Louisiana National Guard, the FBI and the Secret Service.

It is not clear when the systems will be back online or who was behind the attack. The New Orleans cyberattack came days after a cyberattack downed computers in Pensacola, Florida, after an attack at its naval base.

»MORE: Georgia court agency hacked in ransom attack

City of New Orleans’ websites remained down during the weekend as the city recovered from the effects of the attack. Cantrell said about 4,000 computers will need to be scrubbed.

LaGrue said the city and volunteers will need to look at every city computer to see whether it has been infected before putting them back online to the network.

Cantrell said the response “will absolutely go into next week.”

Critical public services, including  911 and the New Orleans Police Department, were not affected.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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