Hayward municipal computer network restored following disruptive cybersecurity event
HAYWARD, Calif., July 27, 2023— The City of Hayward successfully brought back online its internal computer network on Tuesday, an important milestone in its recovery from an ongoing cybersecurity event in which intruders infiltrated City systems for the purpose of disruption and extorting ransom.
The restored network ties together computer systems on which departments and divisions of City government normally rely for general municipal operations—each of which themselves has had to be painstakingly assessed, restored and brought back into service.
Among those restored systems is Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), through which the City’s 9-1-1 Center receives calls, records and manages information, and dispatches the appropriate level of police, firefighter and emergency medical response. In CAD’s absence, Hayward’s call-takers and dispatchers reverted to pen and paper, and radio communication with responding officers and firefighter-paramedics.
As of today, community members can once again transact business online through most of the City of Hayward’s online portals, though some systems involving water bill payments and library services are not fully functional or remain down. Access Hayward, the City’s customer relationship management (CRM) system through non-emergency requests for service and reports of problems or other issues of concern are received, also is back online operational.
The infiltration of the City’s systems was discovered early in the morning of Sunday, July 9, soon after the initial intrusion, and Hayward Information Technology staff moved immediately to lock down the activity by severing the City’s network.
Over the ensuing days, the City’s website, ability to receive email communication and its non-emergency telephone systems—all disrupted by the intrusion, or the response to contain it—were successfully brought back into service.
Throughout, the City has maintained operational communication via cell phone, unaffected email, messaging and virtual meeting systems, and deployment of large- and small-scale mobile Wi-Fi equipment.
At this time, the City is not commenting on the identity of the intruders, investigations of the incident, parties involved, information gathered by investigators or ransom sought.
If the City finds or receives evidence of a breach of private or confidential information of any individual—employee, former employee or other member of the public—the City will contact the affected individual directly.
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