Dallas ransomware attack still affecting city systems one month later

Dallas city officials provided an update on last month's ransomware attack that took down major city services, but more notable from the update on Monday was the information that was not shared.

"While we have made significant progress in the restoration of services, there’s still much work to be done," Dallas Chief Information Officer Bill Zielinski told the city's Public Safety Committee Monday.

The attack impacted public safety departments, courts, public libraries, the animal shelter, online payment systems and other city services like 311.


City of Dallas attacked by ransomware gang 'Royal', city services still affected

The Dallas Public Library, Dallas Water Utilities, courts and more have been affected by the cyberattack.

According to Zielinski's update, the city IT team has restored more than 90% of the network.

"The painstaking work has involved a comprehensive review of each system and each device to ensure that they are free of malware, the installation and implementation of additional security components and protocols and the rebuild, reimagining and restoration from backups of servers and devices where necessary," he said.

What was left out was details about the remaining 10% that hasn't been restored.

The municipal court was just reopened last week after getting an upgrade to its processing system.

FOX 4 checked in with the Dallas Firefighter's Association who said emergency response systems are back to normal, but internal systems that send out memos and directives are still down.

"We are actively working with the city’s vendor to complete work on an upgraded system for the library and anticipate completing that work over the course of this week," said Zielinski.

Zielinski did not share publicly the scope of the ransomware attack, which infected city servers.

He took questions from the committee, but state he was limited in his answers because of the ongoing criminal investigation.

FOX 4 received a copy of an email sent to the Mayor and members of the City Council last week which told them to limit what they tell constituents.

It gave examples of key talking points and phrases like ‘Thank you for your inquiry’ and ‘We will share updates as appropriate.’

Zielinski would not confirm publicly if sensitive information was stolen.

The hackers, the ransomware group Royal, said that they would start sharing personal information if they were not paid a ransom.


Dallas Animal Services crippled by city ransomware attack

Due to technical issues caused by the attack, Dallas Animal Services is urging the public to not surrender any animals right now unless it is an emergency. The assistant director says they need time to get a new paper system up and running.

Zielinski shared very little about the threat.

"If the investigation determines that individuals personal information was involved in the theft of data we will notify those individuals with resources to help protect their information," he said.

After the short public briefing council members got a longer one behind closed doors, as has been the case since the attack.

Zielinski did not share if the city has communicated with the group behind the attack.

FOX 4 reached out to the city about the email sent to the Mayor and Council about sharing updates.

In a response, the city's Communicaitons Department said, "We are committed to being as transparent as possible with the community and will continue to share updates as they are available. We are regularly updating our website, dallascitynews.net with all the latest status updates."