BlackByte ransomware crew lists city of Augusta after cyber ‘incident’

BlackByte ransomware crew has claimed Augusta, Georgia, as its latest victim, following what the US city’s mayor has, so far, only called a cyber “incident.”

In a Wednesday statement about the “network outage” posted on the city’s website, Augusta Mayor Garnett Johnson said the “technical difficulties” – which disrupted some of the city’s computer systems – started on Sunday, May 21.

“We began an investigation and determined that we were the victim of unauthorized access to our system,” the statement read. “Our Information Technology Department is working diligently to investigate the incident, to confirm its impact on our systems, and to restore full functionality to our systems as soon as possible.”

The city is also investigating whether any data was stolen in the intrusion, and promised to “update you as more information becomes available.”

By Thursday, however, FOX54 reported that the incident was a ransomware intrusion and the extortion gang had demanded the city pay $50 million. Additionally, “several city officials” met with FBI agents about the cyber incident, according to the  news outlet.

When contacted by The Register, Augusta city officials had no comment, but said the mayor’s office would release a statement on Friday morning.

#BlackByte has listed the City of #Augusta. #ransomware 1/2

— Brett Callow (@BrettCallow) May 25, 2023

Meanwhile, BlackByte, a ransomware-as-a-service gang that has compromised at least three critical infrastructure sectors in the US – government facilities, financial, and food and agriculture – listed the city on its

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