GALT, Calif. (KTXL) — The City of Galt’s computerized systems were attacked by ransomware hackers early Monday morning disabling the public agency’s phone and email systems, according to the Galt Police Department.
Investigators said ransomware hackers placed malicious software, known as malware, on the City of Galt’s computerized systems in order to take over those systems until a ransom is paid.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, ransomware typically spreads through phishing emails or by unknowingly visiting an infected website.
Investigators said Monday’s attack encrypted access to data on certain city servers but has not caused any exposure of personal data.
The city’s email server was damaged in the attack and email communication to and from city accounts is currently not available, according to officials.
The city’s telephone system, which operates as voice over internet protocol, was also harmed in the attack preventing the public from calling city offices.
Police said the ransom amount to regain access to the affected systems is currently unknown.
Police said city officials are evaluating options to reestablish limited telephone service while the main system is repaired. The police department’s emergency 911 phone lines were not affected in the attack and are fully operational. Citizens with life-threatening emergencies should dial 911.
Police said the city is working closely with its information technology experts, risk management providers, legal counsel, and law enforcement to evaluate the extent of the attack and options moving forward.
The city has also reported the attack to the California Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is working with those agencies, according to police.
While the city works to repair damage to its main phone system resulting from Monday’s cyberattack, they posted alternate contact numbers and hours for the public:
Parks & Recreation: 209-810-0293 – 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
City Clerk: 209-810-0526 – 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Finance: 209-400-5436 – 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Public Works: 209-810-0532 – 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Community Development: 209-649-0285 – 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Police Department non-emergency: 209-366-7000 – 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The police department’s emergency 911 phone lines were not affected in the attack and are fully operational. Citizens with life-threatening emergencies should dial 911.
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