City: Cyber attack against Baltimore’s 911 computer-aided dispatch system was ransomware

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Photo by Flickr user Paul Sableman, used under Creative Commons license.

Ransomware perpetrators were behind Sunday’s cyber attack on the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system that supports Baltimore’s 911 operations, according to Baltimore City Chief Information Officer Frank Johnson.

In a statement released Wednesday, Johnson said federal investigators are working with the city to determine the source of the attack, which forced the CAD system offline for 17 hours on Sunday. Officials have said that service was not disrupted during that time, as calls were dispatched by voice.

A ransomware attack often involves encrypting parts of a network, and a demand of payment in bitcoin to free it back up. It’s in the same category as the WannaCry attack.

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