Town of Colonie falls victim to ransomware attack

Local

COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Town of Colonie announced it was the victim of a ransomware attack late Wednesday night. As of Friday night, NEWS10 ABC has still not heard back as to exactly what information was compromised.  

Sara Wiest, spokeswoman for the Town of Colonie, said that at this time there is no indication that any personal data of any kind was compromised. She said, since Wednesday, the town has been taking steps to minimize the effects of the attack. Wiest said a team of experts, together with the Colonie Police Department, are working to investigate and restore the system. 

Colonie Police Lt. Robert Winn said the department is up and running, and they are able to handle all calls. However, they still do not have e-mail, and they are experiencing some computer issues. 

This is now the third major ransomware attack in the Capital Region. One hit the city of Albany on March 30, 2019, and most recently, Albany International Airport on Christmas Day. 

Ransomware is a computer virus that criminals use to take files and then demand money in order to regain access. 

NEWS10 asked if Colonie paid the ransom but did not get an answer. We also asked if the town has Cyber Insurance, and we were told they could not comment. 

The Albany County Airport Authority did pay the ransom in their case and said it was “less than six figures.” 

The City of Albany did not have Cyber Insurance at the time of its attack. It does now. Albany did not pay the ransom because it had the systems in place to recover.

Still, according to a city spokesman, it cost Albany upwards of $300,000 to get back on track between hiring cyber security experts and purchasing new software. It was an unexpected cost that they had to absorb. 

The town of Colonie hopes to have their system restored by early next week. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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