Officials: Serious cybersecurity attack holds data, operations in City of Newburgh at ransom

News 12 spoke to Orange County IT Commissioner Glenn Marchi about the ordeal.

Blaise Gomez

Jun 12, 2024, 9:03 PM

Updated 36 days ago


The City of Newburgh is working to regain access to their data after a serious cybersecurity attack that county officials say is holding sensitive information and city operations at ransom.
The digital hack was reported by the city as a “network security incident” to the public early Tuesday morning. Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus says the breach is severe enough that the county, state and FBI are involved.
“They have been asked to pay a ransom and that’s a tough situation to be in,” says Neuhaus.
Neuhaus says the county issued emergency laptops and communications equipment to the City of Newburgh Police Department on Tuesday and state police say they covered the city’s police calls for five hours – from 7 a.m. until noon.
City Hall is closed to the public due to the breach, as is the city’s municipal building on Grand Street. City officials say the incident impacted their ability to accept municipal payments for property taxes, water, sewer, sanitation, permit fees and parking tickets but they haven’t said much else.
News 12 spoke to Orange County IT Commissioner Glenn Marchi about the ordeal.
“They are going to determine – do we pay the ransom or do we not. That’s going to depend on the status of their backups,” says Marchi.
County officials say it’s possible personal data and digital police evidence may be compromised and that the county has stopped all electronic communication with the City of Newburgh to avoid a similar attack.
“We are helping them and at the same time, making sure that we are not putting ourselves at risk,” Neuhaus says.
City officials say they have IT experts working “around the clock” to fix the situation. Residents say they hope that happens soon.
“We don’t know anything,” says one woman walking past City Hall on Wednesday. “It’s concerning.”
County officials say the FBI has confirmed the hack was a “targeted attack” from a “known group.” City officials did not return News 12’s calls on Wednesday for updated information.
As of Wednesday, calls to the city's police and fire departments were going through and county officials say there's no disruption to the 911 system.

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