Akron says cyberattack forced shutdown of city help line


AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Officials say a financially motivated cyberattack on computer servers forced an Ohio city to shut down its 311 call center line as it prepared to dig out from a snowstorm.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports a city of Akron spokeswoman says the attack included ransomware that demanded thousands of dollars. Ransomware is malicious software that threatens to publish a target’s data or block access to it.

Mayor Dan Horrigan said at a news conference Friday the city learned of the attack Tuesday and that it also targeted “critical” hardware and software systems.

The FBI and Ohio State Highway Patrol have joined Akron’s investigation into the attack. Gov. Mike DeWine on Friday approved Horrigan’s request for state help and activated eight cybersecurity experts from the Ohio National Guard Cyber Team.

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Information from: Akron Beacon Journal, http://www.ohio.com