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by: Harley Benda
BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – The City of Bridgeport is the latest victim of a cyber attack that happened several months ago.
In a five-page letter and reference guide was sent out to residents over the weekend; it states that on May 27, 2021, Bridgeport systems were encrypted by ransomware, malicious software that lets hackers download information and hold it hostage until a ransom is paid.
The letter said that the city was able to restore operations and immediately notify the FBI Cyber Crimes Division.
While there is no evidence that hackers were able to gain access to anything, information that was potentially leaked includes social security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver’s license numbers, because this information is collected to set up utilities with the City of Bridgeport.
The city is offering free credit monitoring for a year for those affected. Those wishing to take advantage of the monitoring will need to use the code provided to them by December 31 by going to the website here.
Randy Wetmore, Bridgeport City Manager, released this statement to 12 News:
“Like many cities and counties across the Country, the City of Bridgeport was recently the victim of a criminal ransomware attack. Upon discovery of the incident, our team promptly engaged leading cybersecurity experts to investigate and notified the FBI Cyber Crimes Division. Based on the results of that investigation, we believe it is possible that the criminals responsible were able to access certain information stored on the City of Bridgeport’s systems.
“Therefore, out of an abundance of caution, the City of Bridgeport is notifying all potentially impacted individuals and offering complimentary credit monitoring and identity protection services.
“The City of Bridgeport takes our obligation to safeguard personal information very seriously. We have begun implementing additional cybersecurity protection procedures and continue to evaluate additional actions to further strengthen our security posture.”
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