As the extent of a March cyber attack on Atlanta city government continues to surprise, most recently with the announcement that the police department lost archived dashcam videos, City Council President Felicia Moore says the administration should be more transparent about lost data.
“We’re not in the information loop… They’ve got to find a way to be able to share more information,” said Moore about the lack of City Council knowledge of the data losses.
The administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Moore spoke in an interview at a June 7 property tax meeting in Buckhead. That was the day after a city budget hearing where the administration requested an additional $9.5 million to deal with the cyber attack and discussed even more impacts, including the loss of a “decade” of documents in the city attorney’s office, according to a Reuters news report.
Moore said the Mayor’s Office knows about lost data, but “they’re not sharing that data and detail with the council,” citing security concerns. Moore said she believes the administration could reveal the general lost data without discussing such sensitive information as specific software involved. She said that “councilmembers did express frustration” at the budget hearing and wonder what data loss might be revealed next.
“When you withhold information, it just makes people want more,” she said.
In the March 22 attack, unknown criminals penetrated city computer systems, encrypted various files, and demanded a ransom in exchange for the key to unlock them, in what is known as “ransomware.” Known effects include temporarily halting city court citations and water billing. Several City Council members also lost data.