Ransomware Attack Hits Multiple Atlanta Government IT Systems

Today’s topics include the city of Atlanta being hit with a ransomware attack impacting multiple services and Microsoft officially launching its Databricks Analytics Service. 

On March 22, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms confirmed that a ransomware attack is affecting some of the city’s IT systems and the attackers are demanding approximately a $51,000 ransom in Bitcoin to release the impacted systems. 

Mayor Bottoms said, "The City of Atlanta is currently experiencing outages on various customer facing applications, including some that customers may use to pay bills or access court-related information. Our information management team is working with the FBI, Homeland Security and also external partners from Microsoft and Cisco cyber-security incident response teams to help resolve this issue.” 

Atlanta’s Chief Operating Officer Richard Cox said it’s unclear whether personal information has been compromised in the ransomware attack. As a precaution, he is advising city employees to monitor and protect their personal information. 

Microsoft officially made cloud service Azure Databricks available on March 22, months after its initial announcement at last November’s Connect conference in New York City. 

Based on the Apache Spark framework for big data processing, Azure Databricks is aimed at organizations looking for a running start on their large-scale data analytics and artificial intelligence projects. 

It offers developers and data scientists a streamlined setup process and integrates with the company's other cloud-based services, including Azure SQL Data Warehouse and Cosmos DB. 

The service was built in collaboration with Databricks, which in 2016 made waves by claiming to be the first company to enable end-to-end, enterprise-grade security on Apache Spark with its Databricks Enterprise Security framework.