HUBER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WDTN) — Officials in Huber Heights addressed their recent ransomware attack at their City Council meeting on Monday, Nov. 13.
“Unfortunately, it’s become much more common. A lot of places are getting impacted,” said Richard Dzik, Huber Heights city manager.
The City Council was in an over 30-minute executive session before announcing they would approve up to $350,000 from the general fund for improving cybersecurity infrastructure and investigating the ransomware attack.
“Basically, what that does is it authorizes me then to spend that money on the necessary firms or organizations or other entities without having to come back to council and get approval, which I would normally have to do, spending this amount of money,” said Dzik.
Additionally, the city declared a state of emergency due to the ransomware attacks.
A cyberattack on a municipality is nothing new for Dzik, even though he’s only been on the job a few months. His previous place of employment experienced a security breech last year.
“A similar but maybe less robust attack on our systems, but it actually wasn’t originated with any of our city staff. It was a third-party vendor that managed our IT services,” said Dzik.
Verizon’s Crisis Response Team is providing devices to help the city get the city back up and running.
Currently, the city is not allowing online payments for utilities and various permits. For these services and others, residents will have to pay in cash at City Hall.
Dzik says hopefully by the end of the week, services will be restored online.
“It happens. So, I think our public, our residents have been very understanding with us thus far. Operations have been proceeding as normal and you know, we are going to get to the bottom of this and get everything corrected as soon as possible,” said Dzik.
The city will work with a forensics team to investigate what happened, and help the city recover. At this time, there is no official timetable on the forensic investigations, which may take weeks.