Collierville back to normal after cyber-security attack on town’s computer systems

Collierville hit by ransomware attack

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. (WMC) - Services for several departments in Collierville were back to normal Friday after a cyber security attack on the town’s information technology systems.

Town officials said that a ransomware virus called Ryuk was responsible for the attack.

“It’s actually a Russian variant of ransomware, and basically it comes through idleware, which comes through email,” Owner of Cyber Solutions Group, Mike Brady, explained. “You think it’s someone it’s not and they open an attachment or click on a link, then from there it downloads files and does its work.”

With this type of ransomware, hackers will typically encrypt your files and hold them hostage.

But Mayor Stan Joyner said luckily the hackers had not gotten that far.

"They're not into any of our files," he said. "What they actually captured was basically our password so we can't get in."

He said departments like water and sewer weren't impacted, but other departments were forced to go old school with pen and paper for their day-to-day tasks.

"I think it's mostly the people that are dependent on the system that are getting behind," Mayor Joyner said.

To avoid an attack from happening to you, Brady recommends that you have a strong anti-virus system and off-site back up measures in place.

"If you're hooking up to a local thumb drive plugged into the computer, they'll just get ransomware on the back up so it will just attack that," he explained.

Brady also said if you fall victim to a ransomware attack, you should notify federal authorities.

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