A press conference was called by the Mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell, at the end of last year to declare a state of emergency following a major ransomware attack on the city.

New Orleans Ransomware Attack

At the press conference, the city’s Mayor stated that ransomware had been detected but no ransom demands had been made at that time. Mayor LaToya Cantrell went on to explain that the attack had crippled the city’s IT systems. 

The lack of ransom demand suggests that the attack was aimed towards causing disruption and economic damage, this kind of attack could point to a state-sponsored hack.

City employees were required to halt all work and disconnect all IT systems, including computers and servers. Although the city’s IT systems were badly affected by the attack, New Orleans has been described as ‘uniquely trained’ to deal with the downtime due it’s procedures in place for the hurricane season.

Throughout the attack, the city’s 911 emergency phone system remained unaffected and the police continued operating as normal. While the servers were down, the Department of Safety & Permits was called in by the Mayor to manually schedule investigations.

In the Mayor’s statement, she said:

“We have a unified command, we’re here with not only our local partners, but our state and federal partners as well, which includes our national guard, Louisiana state police, FBI, the state fusion centre and secret service”