Cyber Attack- New Orleans Government HIT With Cyber Attack


[Music] well good afternoon and thank you all so much for being here as we are prepared to give you an update on the cyber incident as well as a couple of things we will add on that’s weather and the like switch and water board just some basic updates that we would like to share using all of our time really wisely first being is that the plan for recovery it is working you’re gonna learn more about that hear more about that from our IT director and you should also understand that it’s a priority for me and my team that we see that our people see meaning all of our residents see government working it’s very important so we’re not wanting to abandon just the daily work we’re making sure that we’re leaning forward and we are producing and providing results on the street as best we can I’ve directed all department heads again to make that happen continue to work manually where necessary but also getting things done in addition to that you know I want to be able to say in terms of our outward facing governmental agencies or departments where residents are seeking our help that we really are not only a city of yes but we’re working to get to the yes and not just saying no because of this situation that we that we are in we continue to work in a unified command structure and what that means is that not only with the city’s IT department and team but that’s also with other city agencies public agencies of course the National Guard FBI all of our federal partners as well as state partners continue to be on the ground with the city of New Orleans we’ll learn more about this as we move through this press conference and I’m going to start with an update from our director Kim the group and come on up chief information officer Thank You mayor our update at this point is the forensic investigation into our cyber attack is still ongoing our agents are still collecting information and determining the root cause of our attack and whether or not any of data has been compromised from what we know we are confident that the data that we have is recoverable and the plan the disaster recovery plan that the city has designed is actionable that means our strategy to recover our data and return systems to normal is working we don’t have a complete timeline of when that will happen but we are confident that the approach that we’re taking and the work that we’re doing will be successful that’s very important until then we have a communication strategy which is our city foams are working so you can contact our city agencies and we are disseminating information to our departments to our city employees and the public as effectively as we can at this time beginning tomorrow we will have over 50 volunteer state agents and government partners on the ground recovering our assets our computers and effectively building a new and safe environment for the city that is going to be a tremendous lift we have over 4,000 computers in our environment and about a hundred sites to reach but we have a plan and we will begin executing tomorrow thank you so much and you know that we will have Q&A after this to to address any further questions or clarifications that you will need but we’ll keep moving a lieutenant colonel I’m going to ask to come back up Steven Darrell to give us an update from his perspective ok Thank You mayor thank you good afternoon everyone I’m Malou sister Carla Steve drove with Louisiana Army National Guard were part of a cyber response team that was formed after the creation of the cyber security Commission back in 2017 by Governor John bel Edwards our team is on the ground let’s just seeing the mayor’s IT staff we are working with state police with the OTS and other agencies we have an aggressive plan to assist the city and recovering as quickly as possible we’re taking the necessary steps to make sure that all their systems come back online and that everything will be operating as it was before the attack anything any questions I’m setting there thank you so much Carl so we’re gonna keep our updates moving and we will now go to our director of Homeland Security mr. Colin Arnold Thank You mayor good evening we continue a homeland security continues to operate the city’s Emergency Operations Center in support of Kim and her team and Colonel Darrell and his team and Aris our federal partners as well that have assisted with this at the FBI and the Secret Service have been actively involved in the forensic or investigation part of this I would say that from a perspective tonight what we are looking at is whether there is some line of weather coming through this area it’s been going through North and Central Louisiana all afternoon we’re expecting from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. to be the impact time of this weather looking at rain totals it’s about an half an inch to about 3/4 of an inch not that great of a concern more concerned about wind and we’re talking about power issues fortunately what we’ve learned from sewerage and water board is that turbine for the turbine the tripped off line the other day that necessitated the need to start turbine five which then have the the incident turbine force is okay it’s working and they also have turbines six online for redundancy for any weather tonight as far as wind if there’s you happen to be a power outage with energy so what we’ll do tonight since we’re already in this mode of response with the cyber incident is we will also monitor the weather you know we can we can multitask and so we’ll do that we’ll continue to watch the weather will work with Entergy and sewerage and water board and and partners that they are and always have been and will continue to monitor that and there is redundancy in sewage and water board’s power tonight through weather and I think that’s a that’s a big takeaway so thank you Thank You Colin thank you so much and I’m going to go now to our director of the Orleans Parish Communications District so Tyrell Morris Thank You mayor good afternoon everybody I’m just a reminder 9-1-1 it’s for life-threatening emergencies only please do not call and I’ma want to simply ask a question if you have a non-emergency Public Safety needs we have the public safety line 8 to 1 20 to 22 but for everything else 3 1 1 is your place to go but a reminder not even one is for life-threatening emergencies only and we continue to maintain that system 1 percent thank you thank you so much I’m gonna go to our Superintendent of Police Sean Ferguson Thank You mayor the New Orleans Police Department continues to operate in an optimal level we have not been impacted with field services at all besides our report rising we are handwriting our reports arrest warrants as well as search warrants unfortunately we cannot at this time provide any requests for public record requests subpoena requests or any reports that are normally requested through our record room at this time but we do expect those services to come up soon sooner rather than later but again we continue to operate at an optimal level thank you so much thank you so much and superintendent of Fire Chief McConnell thank you madam mayor the fire department’s ability to respond to emergencies has not been impacted once again we are keeping our reports on a manual basis and we’ll put those into the system as soon as things come back online I do want to comment on an incident that happened this morning that we’ve gotten some calls about in the French Quarter on Dauphine Street 500 block there was a car fire that was an explosion in a car fire what the investigation has revealed is that there was a sewer leak which is still under investigation we don’t know the source of it but it got into the electrical vault the power lines all run underground in French Quarter and the methane gas that was produced in the sewer was ignited by electrical arc and that’s what caused the explosion caused about four manhole covers to come loose and then obviously it was a flame and one of the manhole covers was right over a car that car was ignited and burned so that was what happened at that incident I just want to make sure everybody you know got the answers to people so they knew it was going on the investigation as to where the the source of the sewage is under investigation entity has pumped out that vault to reduce the risk of that happening again in other words got the stewards out the vault to reduce the methane gas being produced and she just just for the record no one hurt no we have no reports of injuries from that incident okay thank you so much okay and now we’ll hear from dr. emily nichols of EMS Thank You mayor good afternoon the primary operations of emergency medical services continue to be unimpacted we are fully operational in our 9-1-1 response any requests at this time from 3 1 1 or any public records request certainly do you have a delay at this point but our IT specialists are working with those in the city within the other city agencies to continue to get back on line Thanks thank you so much okay and I have our director of Public Safety and Homeland Security Colonel Connor Thank You mayor yeah I just want to make one comment and I think that you can see the continued coordination between these public safety agencies that face multiple challenges not only today but yesterday with the added problems on top of our communication issues that we we now have Concord we continue to work together and then a couple submission and that’s protecting and providing for the security to citizens of this city thank you thank you so much Carl and with that I’m going to you know as I talk to you as I’ve started this in terms of our forward-facing departments with the public those general updates that are just critical to our operations and of course of our people Zack Smith our director of safety improvements Thank You mayor good afternoon I just wanted to remind the public that the Department of Safety and permits is open for business as usual we’re answering the phones we’re issuing permits we’re taking in new permit applications we’re conducting inspections in the field we’ve released a utility meters today we will continue throughout the week we were we are not affecting the the public in any way for as related to the outcomes obviously the process is a little bit different as we’ve had to manually enter things we definitely check things but we have we have had a very healthy number of folks come in and foot traffic a lot of phone calls remember any of the phone numbers I’m about to rattle off three one one you can always call 3-1-1 and they can create a ticket that we will be able to see and give back to you but for any school bus or taxi or other ground transportation related issues six five eight seven one seven zero for building questions or building inspections six five eight seven one three zero for mechanical inspections or mechanical questions six five eight seven one five three and lastly for electrical inspections or electrical questions six five eight seven one four five and again if it’s just easier for you you can’t recall that three one one you can do that they can create a ticket they get to us but again we are open we have been processing every time we permit and processing every type of utility release and we’re ready to help you with anything in here thank you thank you so much that and also I’m gonna have excuse me our chief financial officer just come and give you an update as well a norman white as we said last week our financial systems are strong Maseratis are all cloud base that secure a banking information our goals are within hand moving forward clearly our treasury department is open for business you can still come in and make your payment’s I’m in addition to that revenue office the same way and coming to make payments you can also do it up via line a state website making those payments also want to note that payroll activity will occur as normal we have a process and which that’ll be moved forward and in addition to it our vendor payments will be hopefully back online by the end of this week if not they would have a workaround for that but we’re at the end on them thank you so much Norman appreciate all the updates this is a very serious situation super security breach it’s one of public safety and we’re taking it just as that very serious we know that this is not only the new normal but it is a priority for the administration to invest in our infrastructure and that includes cyber security as we have said over and over again and not just saying it has been in our actions and that is even aligned with the first time ever in our history purchasing cybersecurity insurance that is just an example of how serious our administration has been leaning forward and wanting to protect the assets of our city and also the infrastructure of our see the time for no routine maintenance that time has moving forward in our city we’ve elevated not only quality assurances but what we stand for as a city and what we know the residents and visitors of our city expect and deserve that being said I’ve also made it very clear to employees of city government the severity of this issue when we give directives like don’t turn on your computer we do mean and as a result just today we did have some employees come to work turn on that computer so what I have said is that with the state of emergencies that were in accountability will always be number one and there will be consequences to actions as relates to not following protocol or procedures handed out by city government so with that we’ll go to Q&A thank you madam mayor just Clark WWN oh yes thank you this is making for Killigrew because you mentioned that all the data is recoverable does that mean that you know that some data has been either locked or compromised so I’ll have to answer we have we do have a it’s our structures are recoverable the forensic investigation is still ongoing so at this time what we know is the plan to recover our from our backups and the disaster recovery structure that we put in place we’ll work the a forensic investigation is still ongoing but in regards to those structures that we had in place and we were intentional about making sure that they existed was exactly what this administration was I would say told when we were on the phone with DC just yesterday afternoon they really did speak to the preventive matters that this administration has taken and have been able to we’re in a better footing because of it so the structure as Kim mentioned has really helped us the mayor there’s a lot going on right now is the cyberattack a couple of explosions the continuing response to Hard Rock has that taxed the city and city employees you know what from what we see on the ground that it really has not it has proven that the team that we have is truly resilient and not just with the word but in action and I think that we’ve been able to demonstrate that that we are able to to meet the needs as they come as they come our way we handle them accordingly and we do so with dignity with real integrity and accountability at every single level and we’ll continue to do that about what overall sure multiple multiple areas camp so our biggest lift is the reimaging of all city computers we’re taking every precaution we won’t assume that anything is safe or uncompromised so we have over 100 locations and city government some have more computers than others but most of that is helping us on the ground get that project done and as quickly as we can so the majority of them are technical engineers will be here working with our teams and just to clarify does that mean you need to look at every computer and see if it’s been contaminated yes everything of every single computer and the good news is is that with us being so prepared and some of these emergencies you find out you even have more assets than you even knew about and one is through the Orleans Parish communications district one example is that from our health directors you know we have WIC stations throughout the city of New Orleans where our our moms and parents have appointments that they have to make also to get you know adequate resources or the EBT card what we found was a need at these particular sites was one the need for computers so that they can access the EBT cards so with the level of equipment that we have with opcd there are over 50 computers count already and what enable and so that’s how we’re being very strategic about the assets that we have and how those assets are deployed strategically to meet the needs of our people so those moms you know who are going to their wickets that we can also give them the resources and tools that they need and expect when they go to the wake and go to their appointment so we’re we’re in the weeds as far as we need to be with meeting the needs of our people WG you know what was this malware capable of what is that what was the malware capable of I mean was it just getting into people’s information or was it capable of doing way more than that oh the structures he’s done well as we’ve already stated the investigation is still ongoing but it was ransomware which is capable of going in and encrypting your data so and so that’s that you can’t get it and there’s only one way of getting it back and that’s it if you have I’m sorry it’s two ways to get it back if you have it stored as a backup or if you pay the ransom or people we’re picking to restore from backup Catherines own phosphate yeah I had a couple of questions first of all about the excuse me the explosion in the French Quarter I’m just curious as to whether people are still evacuated if they’ve been able to return okay the evacuation area basics sure I know I know the energies out there doing some work I believe everyone has been able to return to their homes but I will get you an answer right after this but I believe everyone was returned to home this morning but I’m not sure if the work that’s being done has caused anyone to not be able to go back so I will get that verified right after this and get that taken Thank You Jean and I wanted to ask also about the cyber attack port the cyber incident what it was an attack it wasn’t attacked it was a cubicle a successful attack or an attempted attack well if we’re saying that we have not received a ransom I believe it was think it wasn’t so successful but I’ll have my team respond to that more appropriately I would like to know it’s interesting that don’t turn on your computers and I’m assuming that’s because like you said you don’t know what’s in each one that’s incorrect not with an abundance of caution what we do know if attacks are advanced if they progress to the point where data is unusable we would know that and then we would experience the ransom demand we did not get to that point we shut off our computers and our connection to the internet our connection to our partner agencies in an abundance of caution on Friday as soon as we were able to confirm this attack that’s what we did and we are in a process of recovering so successful and that it was enacted but unsuccessful in encrypting the city’s data and taking away our valuable information exactly in one of the directives that we’ve had to make for example is that we have heard several you know employees so I backed up my computer right before I cut it off and I have and we’re like no we don’t want that dump drive that will not reenter our newly you know environment that we are building so this is very serious and we’re just wanting what we’re taking we’re taking it very seriously cuz it is you said newer and better I remember you saying that yes your frequency yes I mean we’re having to build a new environment right and so making sure that it will be you know sustainable and and we will continue to maintain that environment as we have to do with any infrastructure so it’s not a time you just pull back you continue on that path and projectory and last question Charles Watson Fox News Channel how long has the city had this cybersecurity insurance and does it include an option for the insurer to pay a ransom on behalf of the city if need be I’ll give you more I can give you more details later going into the leaves of it but I thought it was worth mentioning and because it is a real example of how we’ve been talking about cybersecurity as infrastructure and the needs for us to take it very serious we were able to purchase that insurance at the beginning right in 2019 and John will can give you more information on that I just thought it was it was just that real example of how serious this matter is and it is it’s a new normal and we’re wanting to make sure that we’re in a position to protect the city’s assets at every single level she said the last question but you’re not feeling those sweet breezes I’m there when the OB fell under cyberattack it was closed for more than a week do you expect the outage here in the city could last as long as that well what we do know and what I’ve been told as relates to the recovery process that it will absolutely go into – next week but we’re telling our people to act like you know we’re going to be in this manual mode through the end of the year not that that is the case or will be the case but we need to get it in people’s minds hey we need government to function and to operate and we have to be creative and every level and pace to ensure that we deliver on that to our people anything that okay all right well thank you all so much and who did [Music] you

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