City of Kingman computer system falls victim to cyberattack

Kingman was the target of a cyberattack that impacted its entire computer system, and now the FBI is involved.

The city doesn't know the extent of the damage and what the hackers wanted. Employees can’t access any emails, so for the time being, everything has to be done over the phone and in person.

"We have no idea why we were targeted," said Coleen Haines with the city of Kingman after finding out about the hack on Feb. 26.

Once learning of the hack, the city immediately shut down its system to prevent further issues.

"It is more than just email affected. It is everything. The system is down. We are doing everything and working with this cyber joint task force to get things back up and running," Haines said.

Now the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the Arizona National Guard Cyber Joint Task Force are investigating and working to combat the issue.

As a result of the shutdown, there have been delays when it comes to residents trying to pay their utility bills. Residents can only pay on the phone or in person   -- nothing can be done online.

"Please be patient. We are working to bring this back up safely. We don't know the full extent of the event and all is affected as of right now," Haines said.

Expert talks about recent cyberattacks on small, local governments

Maya Levine, a cybersecurity expert, says there's been a lot of ransomware attacks within the past year targeting small and local governments.

"Attackers will target local governments a lot of times because they might not have really intense cybersecurity practices and technology in place and that makes them more of a low-hanging fruit and easier targets," Levine explained.

A few tips she offers to stay safe from cyberattacks:

  1. Educate employees on proper cybersecurity practices
  2. Continuously back-up data
  3. Make sure all software is up to date

The city will waive delinquent fees as a result of this. Police and fire dispatch phone lines are still working.

Keep up to date with the status of the hack here