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200 Kingman residents affected by city's cyber attack; cause still not determined

City officials said the Social Security and driver license numbers of approximately 200 residents were breached by a cyberattack in February.

KINGMAN, Ariz. — A recent investigation into a massive cyberattack against the city of Kingman shows that up to 200 residents had their personal information breached, yet the city still can't explain how their system was infiltrated.

Kingman city officials said the completed investigation revealed that a "limited number" of residents' information were affected by the cyberattack. However, the cybersecurity specialists hired by the city could not figure out how the city's systems were breached.

On Feb. 26, the city's computer system operations were hacked, resulting in the Arizona National Guard's Cyber Joint Task Force being deployed in Kingman for five days.

Officials said the city government has been fully operational and its computer systems have been restored since April 2021.

"The city did not lose control of its network as a result of this incident, nor did it pay any criminals for any information," Kingman officials said in a news release.

Several cities and schools across the country have fallen victim to hackers in recent years, forcing some of them to decide whether pay large ransoms to get hackers to release their data.

Those whose information was affected by Kingman's data breach will receive a direct notice from the city regarding the incident. 

The city said it's reviewing existing policies and procedures on cyber security and privacy. Enhanced employee training protocols will also be implemented to mitigate any continued risks and to prevent future attacks.

The Feb. 26 attack knocked down Kingman’s computer system, blocking access to some city work functions, email, and an online function used to pay utility bills, the Associated Press reported.

City spokeswoman Coleen Haines told AP the forensic analysis determined that Social Security and driver license numbers of approximately 200 people, mostly former city employees, “may have been impacted as a result” of the breach.

Kingman is insured against cyberattacks and obtained assistance from data privacy and cybersecurity specialists “for a very limited cost” that won’t be put on taxpayers, the city statement said.

 

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