Mat-Su Borough offices offline after cyber attack
Matanuska-Susitna Borough officials say its IT department is working around the clock to get systems back up after a recent cyber attack at its offices.
According to Mat-Su spokesperson Patty Sullivan, they learned about the virus on Monday. Since then, most Borough office phones, email and computers were moved offline to prevent further compromise.
"Wednesday, IT Director Eric Wyatt and his team met with the FBI cyber crimes unit to help in the effort to isolate and identify the virus. Borough information will help in the FBI’s work to identify the criminals for prosecution," according to Sullivan.
FBI's Cyber Crimes Unit and seven other IT companies and agencies have teamed up to help the Borough isolate and delete the virus-- also find out who did it.
“I’m very pleased,” said Borough Manager John Moosey. “Some of our community IT experts have rallied behind our effort by dedicating their resources.”
To make sure the virus didn't spread, Sullivan said they had to unplug all of their phones and computers, leaving employees with typewriters.
"Without computers and files, Borough employees acted resourcefully," she said. "They re-enlisted typewriters from closets, and wrote by hand receipts and lists of library book patrons and landfill fees at some of the 73 different buildings."
Sullivan said no credit card information was stolen or compromised as it is not stored online at the Borough.
Phone and email are considered a high priority; services will be restored once it's confirmed safe.
Sullivan explained how some departments are handling the situation:
- The Collections office is handwriting receipts and can accept cash or check but cannot post transactions yet nor give out balances.
- In the Purchasing office, for bids that are advertised at the Borough, all proposals are posted online. If you have any questions while email is being restored, please deliver them in writing to the Purchasing office. Purchasing is located downstairs in the wing to the left of the main entrance at 350 E. Dahlia Ave.
- The Borough libraries of Sutton, Willow, Talkeetna, Big Lake and Trapper Creek are checking out books for patrons manually. Only cash and check are accepted. Hours may vary: on July 25 hours are Big Lake 10 to 1:30 pm, Sutton 10 to 7 pm, Talkeetna 11 to 6pm, Trapper Creek 12 to 7 pm, and Willow 10 to 6 pm. Regular phone numbers are working for libraries.
- The Central Landfill is open for business. Credit cards are accepted here. Delays have been occurring. Because staff is manually tracking scale weight and fees, please be patient if service is slower than usual. Consider delaying your trip until the systems are operational. Transfer sites are open for regular hours.
- The Animal Care facility computers are down as of Wednesday. The facility is open for regular hours with limited services. Strays and surrenders will be accepted. The shelter will continue to return lost pets to owners. Adoptions are available. Many wonderful cats and kittens are for sale at a reduced price. All adoption animals are spayed and neutered with microchip and vaccinations. The facility can accept cash or check only.
- The Palmer Pool is open for regular hours. Schedules are online. A temporary phone number for Palmer Pool is 746-8012.
For more information, visit the Borough's website and social media-- which are all still working.
If you need to call the Borough, it can temporarily be reached at (907) 861-7879.
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