New Orleans mayor declares state of emergency following cyberattack

Employee information not compromised, 911 system unaffected

New York Daily News
A man walks through the nearly-empty streets of the French Quarter as the city braces for Hurricane Barry on July 13, 2019, in New Orleans. Mayor LaToya Cantrell declared a state of emergency in the city on Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, after a cyberattack.
A man walks through the nearly-empty streets of the French Quarter as the city braces for Hurricane Barry on July 13, 2019, in New Orleans. Mayor LaToya Cantrell declared a state of emergency in the city on Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, after a cyberattack.
(Scott Olson/Getty Images/TNS)

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

The city’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness said the city’s network saw phishing attempts and suspicious activity that forced it to shut down servers and all government computers as a precaution.

“Out of an abundance of caution, all employees were immediately alerted to power down computers, unplug devices & disconnect from WiFi,” the city said on Facebook.

Mayor Cantrell said that ransomware was detected but that no ransom had been detected.

No city employee information was compromised in the cyberattack, and the 911 system was not affected, the city said.

Louisiana State Police, Louisiana National Guard, the FBI and Secret Service are assisting the city with the investigation.

It was the second major cyberattack on an American city this week.

The city of Pensacola, Fla., was hit by an attack that affected city employees’ emails and phones and shut down some online payment systems.

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