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Muscatine recovering after October ransomware attack

Published: Mar. 19, 2019 at 5:39 PM CDT
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Last October, online hackers hit the Muscatine city hall and library, shutting down internet service while they held files and demanded payment to get them back.

Muscatine's city hall and their library are both running smoothly again, with their internet safe and secure. City officials say it's been a process, but now they're planning for the future - making sure this doesn't happen again.

“We were not as prepared as we thought we were,” said Muscatine communications manager, Kevin Jenison.

The city of Muscatine knows firsthand what it's like to try and work without technology these days, and officials say they won't take it for granted again.

“It was just a good recollection of what it used to be and why it's a lot easier now with the speed of the computers,” Jenison added.

Jenison says the next move is making sure they are better prepared for this in the future.

“There's always a crack, and no matter how secure your site is, if you're not totally vigilant or even if you are - these hackers are going to find a way in,” he said.

After this experience, the city already has cyber security updates in their budget for next year.

“We are now to the point where we have the systems going, now we have to look to the future and see what we need to do and make sure that we are more secure than we were at that time,” said Jenison. “Our IT manager has a very good plan of attack.”

Now, they’re being cautious and patient.

“We not only have backups but we have backups to our backups, and I think a lot of businesses are doing this now,” he added. “It's not an overnight deal, it's not this fiscal year or next fiscal year, it's a long range plan.”

Jenison told me the biggest thing moving forward is keeping up with the technology - this isn't a plan that will have them changing one thing and then they're set for good. It's something they have to revisit and make sure they're consistently on top of.