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Pensacola Says PII May Be Exposed in Ransomware Attack

The city of Pensacola, Fla., confirmed on Jan. 17 that personal information may have been compromised in a cyberattack on the city’s networks last month, but said that it can’t be 100 percent sure.

Pensacola said on Dec. 7 that it experienced a ransomware attack, and as a result, “Technology Resources staff disconnected computers from the city’s network until the issue can be resolved.” While the city has remained operational since the attack, some services – including city emails, some landlines, 311 customer service, and online bill payments – were impacted. The city confirmed that emergency services, 911, and the city’s website were not impacted by the attack.

In the Jan. 17 update, the mayor’s office commended city personnel for working “tirelessly [to] bring the city’s computer network back online,” and noted that the city worked with outside consultants and law enforcement to “analyze the breach and any data that was compromised.”

Despite those efforts, the city said it was unable to definitively determine whether personal data was compromised. If PII was taken, the city said, hackers may now have access to individuals’ first and last names; social security, drivers license, or other identification numbers; and bank account, credit card, or debit card numbers.

“While there has not been any confirmation that this data was compromised, the City of Pensacola is choosing to make these notifications in an abundance of caution,” the city said in a statement.

Kate Polit
About Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs