Oakley City Targeted: Ransomware Attack Prompts State of Emergency Declaration

The approximately 43,000-person city of Oakley in the San Francisco Bay Area was the target of a ransomware attack last week.

As a result, the city manager declared a state of emergency “out of an abundance of caution,” and the city’s technology division collaborated with law enforcement to look into the scope of the attack.

The city said on Thursday that emergency services, such as 911, police, fire, and ambulances, were unaffected.

According to the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, a local emergency proclamation “provides extraordinary police powers, immunity for emergency actions, authorize issuance of orders and regulations, activates pre-established emergency provisions, and is a prerequisite for requesting state or federal assistance.”

Oakley City Targeted Ransomware Attack Prompts State of Emergency Declaration (1)

In a statement following the attack, local officials stated that they are formulating a reaction plan to address the situation.

“The city’s Emergency Operations Center has been partially activated, and IT has taken affected systems offline while we work to safely secure and restore services,” the message goes on to say. “While this work is being done, the public should expect delays in non-emergency services from the City.”

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Meanwhile, 24 miles away in Pleasant Hill, the police department is investigating a “cyber incident” that disrupted the city’s computer infrastructure on February 22.

According to officials, city services are still working, and “public safety was never compromised.”

“IT professionals detected and responded to a cyber intrusion targeting the City’s computer servers. The intrusion was quickly isolated in order to minimize any damage.” According to Pleasant Hill officials, the entry was promptly isolated to limit any harm.

Although both incidents occurred on the same day in Contra Costa County, which is home to 19 towns in California’s Bay Area, it is unclear whether they are linked.

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