HomeUncategorizedWest Virginia city latest municipality hit with cyberattack

West Virginia city latest municipality hit with cyberattack

The city of Beckley, West Virginia is dealing with a cyberattack, it announced Thursday in a notice posted on social media.

City officials said they recently discovered issues with their computer network and apologized for any inconveniences.

“We are working diligently to investigate the source of the incident, confirm the incident’s full scope and impact, and identify whether data may be impacted,” they said.

They urged anyone with questions to reach out but did not respond to requests for comment about whether the incident involved ransomware or whether the group behind the incident had identified itself.

The city, which is about 50 minutes from the Virginia border — has a population of more than 17,000, and is the hub of the Beckley metropolitan area which is home to about 115,000 people.

Beckley Mayor Rob Rappold confirmed the cyberattack to a local news station but could not provide a timeline for when systems would be restored.

The attack comes after a 2023 packed with incidents targeting small governments across the United States. Last February, nearly 20,000 students in another part of West Virginia were forced to miss classes due to a cyberattack that crippled their school.

Cybersecurity company Emsisoft tracked attacks on at least 95 government entities in 2023, including headline-grabbing incidents involving Oakland, Dallas and more.

This week the Ohio city of Huber Heights said it is still dealing with the fallout of a ransomware attack it suffered in November. The Dayton Daily News reported that the city is still in a state of emergency due to the attack and that the city council freed up $350,000 needed to respond to the incident.

The money covered payments to a response and recovery cybersecurity firm, ransomware negotiators, new devices and updated systems for city functions.

“I don’t want to speculate on what may have been released before we know for sure. Generally, any data on city servers/computers is at risk, from innocuous letters, memos, and day-to-day work product, to personal information,” City Manager Rick Dzik told the newspaper.

“The biggest issue… is getting a final determination on what kind of data was compromised.”

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