Wednesday, May 17, 2023
While there continues to be an active and ongoing investigation involving state and federal law enforcement, we have a situational update surrounding the recent cyber-related event, and what is taking place to restore technology services throughout the City.
- Telephone services across the City are now 95% restored
- The City's infrastructure systems continue to come online — the collection of all desktop PCs, along with a full deep clean, reset, and roll out continues, as does additional reconnectivity of the network
- Additional ERP modules came online, including revenue collections, purchasing, permitting, human resources, general billing, and utility billing
- Rollout of additional Office 365 services began, including OneDrive
- MIS continued submitting/receiving approvals from financial vendors for connectivity
- Bank payment file transmissions (which do not contain any individual financial data from payers) was successfully restored, and processed through the ERP system
- Assessors access to cloud-based assessment services resumed
- Additional servers were rebuilt and restores continue
On May 11, 2023, PLAY announced that it would release 5GB of data and follow up with a full dump of additional data. At this time, and for a number of reasons, the claim that data has been exfiltrated is being monitored by a variety of agencies, and waiting to be further assessed. Incidentally, it is important to point out that in the event any data was in fact exfiltrated, anyone accessing it for any reason would be subject to criminal prosecution. The City continues to monitor and ensure compliance with all obligatory reporting related to this event.
As security breaches around the world continue to accumulate, your credentials may be put at risk. We encourage everyone to take a moment to visit the site below to help you protect yourself against hackers:
- The Have I Been Pwned website has compiled billions of stolen credentials, from thousands of data breaches around the world, which continues to grow daily
- Enter the email address(es) you want to search against (one at a time) and the system will display the breached sites that your credentials are associated with, but it will not display your passwords associated with the breached credentials.
Additional resources everyone is encouraged to review include:
MIS teams from City, Police, and Fire are all working together to help get our systems and services back up and running as quickly and securely as possible.
Friday, May 5, 2023
City site telephone services continue to come online, allowing inbound calls, outbound calls, and access to voicemail.
Telephone services restored:
- City Hall
- Police HQ
- Fire HQ
- John St. Garage
- Senior Center
All other sites are still being either assessed for or in the process of restoration.
Thursday, April 27, 2023
As of today, MIS successfully enabled telephone services at City Hall, and continues to work on doing so at other City sites.
This continues to be an ongoing investigation with multiple state and federal agencies involved, who are helping us with forensic assessment of the cyber-related incident.
Tuesday, April 25, 2023
Prior to the start of business on Monday, April 24, the City of Lowell's Management Information Systems Department (MIS) became aware of a network disruption impacting a variety of systems. As the day progressed, MIS determined that the best course of action was to segment and isolate systems in order to help troubleshoot them further. Servers, networks, phones, and other systems throughout the City became inaccessible as MIS focused on protecting the City's technology and data assets. 911, Fire, and Emergency phones were not impacted.
MIS has come to the conclusion that the City of Lowell has been subject to a cyber-related incident which likely began early Monday morning. MIS is coordinating with law enforcement and actively investigating the scope and severity of the issue. At this time there is no reason to believe that any of the City's data has been compromised.
MIS is following industry best practices and developing a response plan to address the issue and, out of an abundance of caution, will keep all systems offline while working diligently to secure and restore services safely. The City Manager and his team are actively monitoring the situation and will provide updated information as it becomes available through a variety of channels including the City's official website: https://www.lowellma.gov/ and Facebook and Twitter pages.
Payments for Real Estate, Personal Property, Motor Vehicle Excise, Water Utility, Vital Records, Burial Permits, Cemetery Lot purchases, and other services are still being accepted through the City's online Invoice Cloud payment system. However, payments may not be immediately reflected against payments due online.
In the meantime, the public should expect delays when interacting with the City as we work towards recovery. Thank you.