Cyberattack Closes City Hall in Denver Suburb

March 24, 2023

INCIDENT

The demand was big: $5 million to unlock Wheat Ridge’s municipal data and computer systems seized by a shadowy overseas ransomware operation. The response was defiant: We’ll keep our money and fix the mess you made ourselves.

“The city has made the determination not to pay a ransom,” Amanda Harrison, a Wheat Ridge spokeswoman, said this week. It took three weeks from the Aug. 29 cyberattack for Wheat Ridge to determine that it had adequate redundancies and the know-how to put its databases and systems back into operation without the help of the hackers, who demanded payment in a hard-to-trace cryptocurrency known as Monero.

Following the attack, Wheat Ridge had to shut down its phones and email servers to assess the damage the cybercriminals had done to its network. That, in turn, prompted the city to close down City Hall to the public for more than a week.

Incident Date

August 29, 2022

Estimated Cost

Closed down City Hall > a week.

Type of Malware

No Malware identified

Threat Source

No threat source identified