City of Liege, Belgium hit by ransomware

Liege, the third biggest city in Belgium, has suffered today a ransomware attack that has disrupted the municipality's IT network and online services.

Following the attack, most of the city's civil status and population services are down, Liege officials said on a status page today.

Appointments for town halls, birth registration, wedding, and burial services have been canceled due to workers' inability to access the city's IT network.

Online forms for event permits and paid parking are also down, officials said.

"Other services are also affected," Liege officials added, promising to provide a more in-depth list later in the day to prevent locals from showing up at city coutners unnecessarily.

While officials only described the incident as a "computer attack," two Belgian radio and TV stations reported that the attack was the work of the Ryuk ransomware gang.

The attack against the Liege municipality is not a rare occurrence. In fact, local city networks are often targeted by ransomware gangs because many cannot afford top-of-the-line security nor new IT gear, often running severely outdated servers and workstations with a small IT staff.

While Liege is a pretty big city, it is not the only major municipality that has fell victim to a ransomware attack in recent years.

The most recent attack hit Tulsa, in the US, but prior to that, ransomware gangs also hit big US metro centers like Hackney (London)AtlantaBaltimoreDenverKnoxville, and New Orleans.

The Liege ransomware attack also comes on the day that news leaked that the EU is considering creating a joint rapid response force to aid EU countries and cities to deal with cyber-attacks.

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Catalin Cimpanu

Catalin Cimpanu

is a cybersecurity reporter who previously worked at ZDNet and Bleeping Computer, where he became a well-known name in the industry for his constant scoops on new vulnerabilities, cyberattacks, and law enforcement actions against hackers.