Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Restoring Services on Day 4 of Cyber Attack

Mat-Su | Patty Sullivan | Friday, July 27, 2018

Borough wifi is working. Access to work email is expected today for personnel in charge of critical services as the Matanuska-Susitna Borough continues to recover from a debilitating cyber attack.

Borough IT Director Eric Wyatt has been managing the crisis with teams of IT experts both employees and consultants and a former employee who returned to help.  The group of 20 or more meets twice a day to give status updates and to whittle down the list of growing critical communication needs for citizens and employees. 

On Tues., the FBI cyber crimes unit met with the Borough to gather Borough forensic evidence to compare it with evidence collected at other incidents across the nation.

“The Borough internet infrastructure defends millions of these attacks sometimes daily,” Wyatt said. “In defending these types of things we need to be right every time. The attackers need to be right only once,” said Wyatt, as he met with several reporters throughout the day Thursday.

The Borough is participating in teleconferences with the federal government, state, and a municipality to share information to help others protect against infection. The Borough already met with the School District.

At all times E-911 calls have been fully operational and are not at risk.

The main number for the Borough is (907) 861-7879. 

Here’s some progress for Friday, July 27.

  • Access to email with the same email address will be restored today for employees in charge of critical systems and soon after delivered to all employees when they receive clean computers. 
  • The Borough website has been online consistently since Tues. And press releases on the incident have been going out since Monday as well as social media posts. However, because most employees don’t have a computer they haven’t been able to access the Internet other than from home or on a phone.  
  • Some 650 desktop computers and server computers are being cleaned of any possible virus and then returned to employees. A new, clean network is being built. Some virus-free laptops will be disseminated to employees this afternoon.
  • Some credit card services are coming online soon. Private credit card information was not stored on Borough servers and was not at risk during this cyber attack.
  • Employee requests for time-sensitive data are put on a list and assigned to a team to deliver. Real estate information found on my Property, for example, may be accessible at the close of business today. Current tax amounts and maps are not available.  Square footage and assessed value will be accessible.

IT teams are working through the weekend to secure data and restore services.

For more information contact Public Affairs Director Patty Sullivan at (907) 861-8577 or (907) 355-0103.