Wichita, Kansas
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Wichita government shuts down systems after ransomware incident

Government officials in Wichita, Kansas, warned the public that services would be limited following a ransomware attack that began on Sunday morning. 

In an alert, the city said several of its systems were encrypted with malware, forcing officials to disconnect and shut down some as a way to prevent it from spreading. 

Residents should expect online service outages, but the city did not specify what services will be affected or for how long. Officials noted that first responders have “switched to business continuity measures where appropriate to continue providing exceptional service.”

The city said the decision to turn off services was “not made lightly but was necessary to ensure that systems are securely vetted before returning to service.”

“The City is enabling business continuity measures, where appropriate, to minimize disruption and is working with third-party specialists to safely and securely restore the computer network,” government officials said Sunday.

Federal law enforcement agencies and local departments are involved in the response to the incident. The city declined to say what ransomware gang was behind the attack. 

Officials have not said what data might have been stolen by the hackers. 

Systems will be restored on a staggered basis in an effort to “minimize disruptions,” the city explained. 

Wichita is the most populous city in Kansas — with more than 400,000 residents — and is the largest city to face a ransomware attack this year after similar incidents knocked out systems in Birmingham, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida.

Kansas was forced to rebuild the IT system of its entire judicial system in the fall after a ransomware gang allegedly based in Russia destroyed it in an October attack

Just last week, a Kansas City system providing real-time weather and traffic information to drivers along roads and highways was taken down by a cyberattack, damaging a critical tool during a weekend of dangerous storms.

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Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig

is a Breaking News Reporter at Recorded Future News. Jonathan has worked across the globe as a journalist since 2014. Before moving back to New York City, he worked for news outlets in South Africa, Jordan and Cambodia. He previously covered cybersecurity at ZDNet and TechRepublic.