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Florida city hires firm to investigate recent cyberattack

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Posted at 8:51 AM, Dec 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-17 08:51:03-05

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — Officials in a Florida Panhandle city have hired the global professional services company Deloitte to evaluate the extent of a recent cyberattack that crippled the city's computer system.

The company will be paid $140,000 to perform an audit on Pensacola's computer network to find out how the Dec. 7 attack happened, and what officials so do next, Mayor Grover Robinson said Monday.

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The FBI is investigating and city officials haven't commented on any details regarding the attack, the Pensacola News Journal reported.

"I cannot comment on the (ransom) amount," Robinson told the newspaper. "The city has not paid anything at this particular time."

The attack began in the early hours of Dec. 7 and city officials responded by shutting down the city's network. That cut off access to many of the city's public-facing services such as online bill pay for utilities.

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Most of the city's online services have returned to normal operation, but every computer still has to be scrubbed to ensure they are not infected before returning to the network.

Deloitte will assess three things, said Pensacola spokeswoman Kaycee Lagarde. They will determine how the ransomware infiltrated the city's network, whether the software is still in the network and whether any city data was compromised.