Baltimore City has a permanent information technology director after Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young promoted the acting director, who has been serving in that position since October, according to a news release from the mayor’s office Thursday.
In a bit of a trial by fire, Todd A. Carter started working in the Baltimore City Office of Information & Technology (BCIT) on May 7, the same day a ransomware attack compromised Baltimore city government’s computer network.
The BCIT director at the time, Frank Johnson, went on leave in September and resigned from his post in October.
Carter began serving as acting director when Johnson went on leave in September and has remained in the post for the past five months.
“Todd’s first day on the job coincided with one of the worst cyber attacks to hit an American City. The City benefited greatly from Todd’s ability to perform expertly under extreme pressures,” Young said in statement.
The ransomware program called RobbinHood infected city government computers and demanded payment of three Bitcoins per system, or 13 Bitcoins total, in exchange for freeing the city’s systems.
The incident marked the second time city computer systems were hacked in just over a year. In 2018, another ransomware attack forced Baltimore’s 911 dispatch system to shut down.
In August, the Board of Estimates voted to transfer $6 million from a $65 million fund for recreation, parks and public facilities to pay for “cyber-attack remediation,” the Baltimore Sun reported.
The city lost $18 million due to the attack, $10 million from network repairs and $8 million in projected revenue losses.
In October, the Board of Estimates approved the purchase of two cyber liability insurance coverage plans totaling $20 million after a competitive bidding process involving 17 carriers.
Since taking the helm of BCIT as acting director, Carter has helped update and fortify the city’s IT systems, Young said.
“Todd has also been at the forefront of helping Baltimore modernize its IT infrastructure and to further strengthen our network capabilities,” he said. “Todd possesses a rare combination of technical skills, organizational expertise, and operational abilities that will continue to serve the city well into the future.”
Carter earned his bachelor’s degree in information systems management from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and his Master of Business Administration from Loyola College. Before joining BCIT in May, Carter served as the head of IT for BGE Home and as a vice president of IT at Exelon and Constellation Energy, according to the news release.