There's some progress, but City malware problems remain nearly a month after infection

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After nearly a month of infection by malware, the City of Savannah says it is continuing to rid the City’s network of the infection that was discovered February 9; likely caused by an e-mail phishing scheme.

But many problems still remain, including a large court backlog.

The City’s Department of Information Technology (DoIT) has removed the malware from more than 80 percent of the City’s more than 2,000 computers, says City Public Information Director Michelle Gavin.

"The computers that have not been wiped remain shut down and off the City’s network," Gavin says.

To date, Gavin says there is no evidence that the malware attack has compromised any City data and it has not impacted the City’s core services, public safety or the 911 Center’s ability to receive and dispatch 911 calls.

"DoIT staff and contractors from Layer 3 Communications are wiping each individual computer and installing new anti-virus and intrusion protection software to help guard against any potential future attacks," she says.

However, the nearly month-long issue with emails remains about as problematic as it has been.

The City is still restricting outside sources from sending email attachments, specifically pdf files, to City staff.

"Recently the City has seen an elevated number of phishing e-mails from outside sources," says Gavin. "Restricting email attachments is helping the City prevent additional viruses from infecting the City’s network until the new anti-virus and intrusion protection software is installed."

While Traffic Court has been cancelled through Friday, March 9 — one of several weeks of court business delayed or otherwise impacted by the malware infection — the City hopes to have all the Recorder’s Court computers up and running by Wednesday.

Perhaps the most embarrassing issue, with the City Purchasing Department, is also slow to resolve. "Due to technical difficulties with the City’s supplier portal, bidding opportunities are currently being posted to the City’s main Purchasing Department webpage," Gavin says.

'Vendors can come to the Purchasing Division’s office (1375 Chatham Parkway, 2nd floor, Savannah, Georgia 31405) to obtain documents related to bidding opportunities. The Purchasing Division’s website will be updated as changes to each event occur, so vendors are encouraged to check this site often to ensure they receive all issued documents.

For events closing on March 13 and March 20, only manual submissions will be accepted. Electronic responses will not be accepted. Responses must be received at 1375 Chatham Parkway, 2nd floor, Savannah, Georgia 31405, in the office of the Purchasing Division by 1:30pm (EST) on the stated due date. Addenda addressing all changes to these events will be issued and posted to the Purchasing Division’s main webpage.

"The City’s ability to receive 311 call has not been effected," Gavin says. "However, due to limited computer availability for City staff, there are delays in responding to the 311 requests."




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