Ransomware Attack Shuts Down Wichita City Services

Tyler Cross
Tyler Cross Senior Writer
Published on: May 9, 2024
Tyler Cross Tyler Cross
Published on: May 9, 2024 Senior Writer

A ransomware attack has sent a city in Kansas reeling as multiple government municipal systems have been taken offline. Citizens of the city woke up May 5 to a notice from the Wichita government, detailing a ransomware attack that devastated their city.

“We regret to report that certain online City services may be unavailable as we thoroughly review and assess an incident that affected some of our computer systems,” the notice said. “As part of this assessment, we turned off our computer network. This decision was not made lightly but was necessary to ensure that systems are securely vetted before returning to service.”

An update was posted on May 6, confirming that the city’s systems were still down and providing an FAQ section for citizens impacted by the hack. It also details which systems were down and what to do until they’re back online.

Many operations are still active, but they’re back to “pen and paper,” meaning they’re unable to file paperwork online or access details stored on the Internet. Organizations like the city landfill are only accepting cash at the moment.

Water systems remained untouched, meaning the city can continue to supply clean water. Citizens won’t have their water shut off during the outages and they can pay their bill by delivering a check to the city hall.

The FAQ also reassures citizens that they’re in no danger.

“There is no expected impact on residents needing public safety assistance. WFD and WPD are responding to calls for service and utilizing paper reports,” Wichita officials said.

Unfortunately, there aren’t public details about the nature of the attack, how much data was stolen, or who the attackers were. There’s also no telling exactly how much data was compromised.

“Staff are working diligently and will have resolve the cyber security incident as soon as possible,” the city said.

About the Author
Tyler Cross
Tyler Cross
Senior Writer
Published on: May 9, 2024

About the Author

Tyler is a writer at SafetyDetectives with a passion for researching all things tech and cybersecurity. Prior to joining the SafetyDetectives team, he worked with cybersecurity products hands-on for more than five years, including password managers, antiviruses, and VPNs and learned everything about their use cases and function. When he isn't working as a "SafetyDetective", he enjoys studying history, researching investment opportunities, writing novels, and playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends."