Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Mat-Su Declares Disaster for Cyber Attack

Mat-Su | Patty Sullivan | Tuesday, July 31, 2018

At the Asssembly meeting tonight, Matanuska-Susitna Borough Manager John Moosey reported that he had declared disaster today due to the severity and magnitude of a cyber attack. 

At the close of the meeting, Assembly Member Ted Leonard called it a terrorist attack.

Here is an excerpt from the declaration.

"... the Borough's computer infrastructure, including computers/laptops, most Borough servers, networked telephones, and the email exchange have been compromised; and

WHEREAS, the cyber-attack has caused major disruption in Borough services and loss of productivity, which may continue for a prolonged time; and

WHEREAS, the Borough's IT department staff are working a great deal of overtme, and IT service providers have been engaged at significant expense, and, ...".

Manager Moosey told the audience the declaration gives us access to our insurance, the emergency part of the budget and possible FEMA assistance. The declaration is posted here.

Mat-Su Borough IT Director Eric Wyatt gave the Assembly the latest update on the crisis. His below quote and full audio are posted here.

"We learned that one of the prongs of the attack, the trojan horse, is called the Emotet what we have learned is this is the worst of its type in the nation according to top anti-virus companies that do this internationally..another component Cryptolocker what is sometimes called the was ransomware portion also called Bitpaymer also the worst of its type in the nation, other embedded component (malware) called Dridex that is also the worst of its type. And so the group that we are facing that has unleashed this particular attack is a very well organized group and they're using the most sophisticated tools and have done a lot of damage across the country to include us." —Eric Wyatt, IT Director, Mat-Su Borough

Our victim number is 210 for this virus, Wyatt said, meaning that 209 others are victims before us. In Alaska, so far Valdez also has the virus. 

Resident Kurt Bunker, an IT consultant working with Borough IT, testified to the Assembly about the crisis response.

"I'm proud to be working with your team. The incident response has been incredible. The FBI commented several times during design sessions with me how rapid and how efficient you guys have been in containing and dealing with the effort. I think your IT teams have done a wonderful job. Everybody's very exhausted. I'm mumbling because I'm beyond exhaustion for the last six days. I think everybody needs a pat on the back and some encouragement and this is going to be a long journey to recover. ... This is cyber crime and this is the future that we are dealing with."

Mayor Vern Halter thanked Wyatt for a "thorough job" under "tough circumstances." 

More phones were restored to departments today. By Wednesday most phones are expected to be in service. 

For more information contact Public Affairs Director Patty Sullivan at 861-8577 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Worst of its Kind, Eric Wyatt on the cyber virus characteristics

IT Consultant Kurt Bunker is proud to work on incident response with Mat-Su Borough

Full update by Eric Wyatt, IT Director Mat-Su Borough on the Cyber Attack 2018 before the Assembly