New Orleans declares states of emergency after cyberattack

By Sommer Brokaw

Dec. 14 (UPI) -- New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has declared a state of emergency after a cyberattack on the city's computer network.

The city's emergency preparedness campaign, NOLA Ready, announced the "suspicious activity" in a tweet early Friday morning.


"As technicians investigated, activity indicating a cybersecurity incident was detected around 11 a.m.," the agency tweeted.

In response, the city declared a state of emergency, which was filed with the Civil District Court.

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NOLA Ready said the incident didn't affect emergency communications.

Colin Arnold, director of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness for New Orleans, said in the news conference that the city can operate from a public safety perspective without the city network.

The Real-Time Crime Center works off the city network, but the public safety cameras record independently, and could be accessed if needed, Arnold said.

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Cantrell confirmed the cyberattack during a news conference.

State and federal agencies were investigating the incident, but the ransom malware used in the attack hasn't been identified. Cantrell said no ransom demand had been made.

The ransomware attack follows others including one that targeted the state of Louisiana in November.


There was also a ransomware attack in Louisiana in July that resulted in another state of emergency and Louisiana school district computers being taken offline.

In August, a cyberattack in Texas took nearly two dozen government agencies offline.

The FBI said Monday that it was not able to make a connection between a ransomware attack against Pensacola, Fla. and the mass shooting that occurred there earlier this month.

The City of Pensacola got back online Thursday.

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