NEW BEDFORD — Mayor Jon Mitchell is starting to provide further details on the ongoing cyberattack that’s downed City Hall computers for over three weeks.

Mayor Mitchell provided an update on the response by the City during his weekly appearance on the Barry Richard Show Thursday.  Mitchell said the restoration effort is “coming along” and that more details will be available for the public as the City’s technology experts continue to address the issue.

“Basically, there was an infection of sorts, that may not be the right term, but that debilitated a number of servers, many of which were backed up. Others that weren’t backed up have been cobbled together from other sources. The data that had been encrypted was cobbled together from other sources. So, we’re working on it,” Mitchell said.

“I don’t want to come up and give some sort of a definitive statement because we’re still looking into it. Fairly soon we’ll be able to go into the blow-by-blow of what exactly took place. But, we have friends and people sifting through this stuff right now, so I don’t want to say precisely what happened. “

Indications of a cyberattack became apparent on July 5, when City Hall computers shut down in multiple municipal offices. The Mayor’s Office released a statement on the attack, stating the public is “unlikely to notice any negative impacts related to the disruption.”

The Mayor’s Office released an orginal statement on the attack, stating the public is “unlikely to notice any negative impacts related to the disruption.”

That was followed by a July 10 letter, penned by Ward Three City Councilor Hugh Dunn, requesting transparency on the attack, while also expressing concern about the lack of an update on the situation from the administration. Two days later, the New Bedford Fire Department confirmed with WBSM News that their computers were affected as well, though emergency response capabilities remained intact.

“ We’ll have more to announce about it and more detail as we continue to delve into what exactly happened, but the reality is that it’s not affecting the direct delivery of City services. So, there was never an issue with 911 services, no issues with the school system, everything was still open. The only visual change really was that the automated arm at the Elm Street garage had to be operated manually,” Mitchell said.

“Our team is working through it now. I think it could’ve been a lot worse than it was. They jumped on it very quickly and I think we lucked out because the problem started over the July 4 weekend when a lot of people had their computers off, so it didn’t spread as much as it possibly could’ve.”

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