The city of Hayward in California has experienced a ransomware attack, leading to the temporary shutdown of its city website as IT teams assess the situation. The incident was discovered early on Sunday morning, prompting the city to turn off its public website and online portals, while emergency dispatching systems and 911 services remain operational.
While there is no current evidence of a breach of personal information, the city is prioritizing the protection of private and confidential data of its employees and citizens.
Hayward’s spokesperson, Chuck Finnie, emphasized the city’s commitment to safeguarding personal information and stated that the highest priority is to protect the privacy and confidentiality of employees and individuals conducting business with the city. The city is actively investigating the breach, and if any breach of personal information is discovered, the affected individuals will be directly notified.
In the meantime, Hayward encourages residents to stay informed through the city’s e-newsletter, the Stack, and by following their official social media accounts.
While the attack has caused disruptions, including the suspension of internet and Wi-Fi access at Hayward libraries, the community has shown understanding, and library services continue through traditional methods like browsing and checking out books.
Cybersecurity experts stress the importance of a swift response to address, mitigate, and recover from such attacks. This incident marks the second time an East Bay city has fallen victim to this type of attack, highlighting the ongoing cybersecurity challenges faced by local governments.