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Five Important Factors To Know About Atlanta's Glossed Over Cyberattack

"This is really an attack on our government, which means it's an attack on all of us," Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said. 

Atlanta's computer network was thrown for a loop recently when it was invaded with ransomware. The quiet but extremely vital incident hasn't be apart of the news cycle, but is serving as a warning of what can happen in a paperless world.

On Mar. 22, a ransomware cyberattack shut down the City of Atlanta's system. The Department of Atlanta’s Information Management team first noticed some outages at 5:40 a.m. According to a statement from Richard Cox, the city’s interim Chief of Operations, the outages occurred in various internal and customer applications “including some applications customers use to pay bills or access court related information.” The New York Times has referred to the attack as “one of the most sustained and consequential cyberattacks ever mounted against a major American city.”

Officials are still scrabbling as they have not made a decision to pay the ransom or to just move on the best way they see fit.

Here's a brief in-depth guide to everything that went down, from then to now.

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The Cyberattack Has Been Labeled As A Ransomware Attack

Ransomware is an attempt where malware is thrown into a computer system until money is paid. In this case, hackers demanded 6 bitcoins, which translates into $51,000. Newly elected mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms compared the incident to a hostage situation.

"Just as we wouldn't give away too much information if there was a physical hostage, we do have to be careful," she said strongly at a press conference Monday (Mar. 26). "I can tell you that we are working around the clock." Ransomeware is nothing new. Research from cybersecurity firm Bitdefender found that two billion was paid by victims in 2017 with ransoms passing the billion mark in 2016.

As time passes and technology gets smarter, ransomware has gotten harder to combat. Cyberscoop points out that the number can be higher since most ransomeware attacks aren't reported for a number of reasons like embarrassment. Companies like Equifax and Facebook have recently dealt with similar attacks. Uber also faced a similar breach in 2017 that flew under the radar.

Bottoms also mentioned she wasn't opposed to paying the ransom as "everything is up for discussion."

Officials Know Who Is Behind The Attack 

 SamSam is the strand of ransomware used in the attack and officials are certain that it will strike again. During the course of this year alone, the ransomware group behind the Atlanta attack has already extorted up to a $1 million in ransoms, according to The New York Times. Dell SecureWorks, a private company based in Atlanta, was called in to assist the city. Its President & CEO, Michael R. Cote was also present at the conference as he made it clear that a lot of work is still left to be done. “We are transitioning into the recovery phase to include the methodical restoration of critical system,” Cote said. "We still have a lot of work to do. We are beginning to move into the recovery phase. So there is multiple phases when you do an incident response investigation.”

The FBI Has Gotten Involved

In addition to Secure Works, the FBI, Homeland Security and the Secret Service are apart of the investigative group. The city's website features a F.A.Q, about the "cross-functional incident response team" and their plans  to prevent future attacks. Educational partners from Georgia Tech have also been called in as reinforcements.

Atlanta Officials Are Filling Out Forms By Hand 

Despite officials being told to turn their computers and printers back on Tuesday (Mar. 27), full service has yet to be restored. This means people are unable to pay their water bill or their parking tickets online. The city's 13 departments have been forced to do their jobs manually, by writing reports by hand.

No Personal Information Has Been Affected In The Cyberattack 

So far, there is no proof showing that personal information was released. "We have not seen any evidence that personal information has been misused as a result of this incident. However, as always, residents are encouraged to take precautionary measures to maintain the safety and security of their personal information," said the City of Atlanta's website. Despite no personal information being released, experts like Andrew Green, an information security lecturer at Kennesaw State University, believe this should be a "wakeup call" for the rest of the nation. "And so, this is a wakeup call, potentially, that cities need to start looking at how seriously they’re taking their own cybersecurity posture,” Green told FOX News.

Atlanta city council member Howard Shook did share his sadness over losing a large amount of information and the longing for an analog system. “Stuff is lost. I’m a tiny little example, but my computers—the contents have to be euthanized," he told The New Yorker. “We’ll rebuild the contacts, but, for me, the lesson learned is: this longtime goal of moving to a paperless society looks a lot less exalted now than it did a week ago. I’d give anything for a hard copy of everything I lost.”

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Nayvadius recorded Baby Future's initial response to opening up his gold Rolex, which merited a sincere "thanks." However, the Internet seems a bit conflicted on whether or not Future's gift to his son was sincere or even appropriate.

https://twitter.com/SPLASHnewz/status/1130136017959301124

Some online thought it was no one's business what Future gifts his son, or that others were jealous.

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Some took to Twitter to allege Future gave his son the gift he would've wanted for himself.

This is a status symbol for Future not a gift for baby Future. I’m sure he got toys and stuff in addition. But that only makes this Rolex thing worse. Why not just get him an ass load of whatever toys he likes and leave it at that? https://t.co/xQP5r0du7F

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Lmao baby future looking at that watch like “this not Paw PAtrol” lmao I’m weak

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Oh well, whether baby Future knows the value of his gift is neither here nor there. Let me go charge up my Fitbit before it dies.

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Sybrina Fulton Is Running For Office In Florida

Since Trayvon Martin's murder in 2012, Sybrina Fulton has dedicated her life to preserving her son's legacy. Now, Fulton is taking it one step further as she's announced she's running for office in Florida.

“Since 2012, I have advocated tirelessly to empower our communities and make them safer,” Fulton said to The Miami Herald. “But the work is not done. I am proud to announce that I will run to represent District 1 on the county commission.”

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The smartest thing about that whole scene was how Coach K did a great press run for the Migos as a trio, even with Offset locked up at the time. Having Rich The Kid roll with them accomplished the mission of keeping the Migos' look as a trio annnnd establishing another new artist at the same time. As the relationship didn't materialize as Rich being on Quality Control, it provided the youngin' valuable knowledge on the game and how to do roll outs and such. Thus, Rich The Kid's own Rich Forever Music label being born a few years ago. With enormous success on his own with hits and tours under his belt, the New York native turned Georgia repper started signing up talent. Most notable acts Famous Dex and Jay Critch signed with Rich bolstering his start up company (established in 2016) to fast recognition.

Now in the same way that Rich was introduced to VIBE, 83 Babies are following suit. A few months ago the North Carolina trio, with strikingly similar sounds to Migos', came through the office with a visiting Rich The Kid, who was playing our team some of his unreleased album cuts. We got a chance to kick it with Lil Tony, Set It Off and Young Boss Tevo for a sec. With their minds taking in the atmosphere, we learned that they were in a tug-of-war state as various labels were vying for their talent. Judging from the Rich announcement of 83 Babies being signed to Rich Forever Music this past March, the fellas made their choice.

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Watch their newest video above.

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BIG 83 BABIES

A post shared by BIG 83 Babies (@the83babies) on Apr 28, 2019 at 9:04am PDT

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