“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.
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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.
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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.