A California city shuts down all operations due to virus attacks on its government systems

Information security specialists have reported a security incident at systems in Union City, California. According to reports, the presence of a virus has forced local authorities to completely shut down their computer systems. It is not yet clear whether the information held on these systems is safe, but authorities are already working with the FBI and cybersecurity firms to accurately determine the consequences of this incident.

“At the moment you will not be able to make payments or apply for licenses or permissions in Union City, as a virus has infected the City Hall’s systems,” reporter Anser Hassan posted on Twitter. “Union City residents concerned about their personal information will have to wait for news in the coming days,” he adds.

After spending entire days out of operations, Union City Hall reopened Tuesday morning, although the systems have not been fully restored. “The virus did not infect all systems; after it entered our networks the virus was detected and we decided to shut down all systems as a precaution measure,” said Lauren Sugayan, communications manager at Union City.

In the face of the recent wave of ransomware infections in the US, the official was very clear in pointing out that this is not a similar incident, although she adds that it is not yet known how long all systems will be restored. “At least for the next few days the services will remain disrupted, including payment systems, permissions, among others.”

In addition to these services, the information security firm working with Union City mentions that the issuance of licenses and other permits has also been interrupted; the authorities will also not be able to process any of these requests via email, as this service has also been affected.

Although the City Hall telephone lines remain in operation and some requests could be processed by this means, the authorities mention that there is no guarantee that this will work. However, Sugayan stressed that, in the case of fines or service payments, the periods for paying will be extended without additional charges. Because public safety services in Union City are provided by the city of Fremont, these activities have not been affected.

About the virus variant in question, the information security experts working on the case mention that they are unable to reveal additional details at this time, “The only thing we can mention is that the infection occurred on Friday night and was detected on Saturday morning,” the investigators mention.

Officials have also not disclosed details about how this incident could affect the personal information of Union City residents, but claim that the FBI is taking over this part of the investigation. “We’re not yet sure if the information has been exposed, we’ll soon be able to confirm this information,” Lauren Sugayan added.

Information security specialists from the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) say that, due to the little information confirmed so far, it is best for concerned people to be patient and keep abreast of updates Union City to publish through its official communication platforms.