City of Wichita alerts residents of ‘cyber security incident’

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The City of Wichita alerted residents of a “cyber security incident” Sunday evening.

The City of Wichita sent out the following alert at 5:19 p.m. Sunday:

“The City of Wichita values its constituents and prides itself on providing high-quality services to its residents. We regret to report that certain online City services may be unavailable as we thoroughly review and assess an incident that affected some of our computer systems. As part of this assessment, we turned off our computer network. This decision was not made lightly but was necessary to ensure that systems are securely vetted before returning to service. We will continue to provide updates on this matter at https://www.wichita.gov/1199/Alert“

City of Wichita Alert

Certain systems were encrypted by malware. According to the city, “Encryption malware is a type of computer virus that locks files without permission.”

To prevent the spread of the malware, the computer network and systems were shut down. Some services may be temporarily unavailable. On Monday, the city said this might affect transactions, including water bills, licenses, and fines by credit cards.

The city is working with third-party specialists to restore the computer network and systems.

Federal and local law enforcement authorities have been notified and are assisting the city.

The city is not releasing who is claiming responsibility for operational security purposes.

The city does not have a timeline for when all systems will be returned to normal.

First responders, including local fire and police departments, are still working.

On Monday, the city shared answers to many questions they received.

When will this incident be resolved?
Staff are working diligently and will have resolve the cyber security incident as soon as possible.

When will we know more?
The City is dedicated to providing updates as soon as more information is available.

Public Safety:

Is there any impact to public safety operations?
There is no expected impact to residents needing public safety assistance. WFD and WPD are
responding to calls for service and utilizing paper reports.

Water:

Are water systems in any way compromised by the cyber security event?
No. All water systems are secure and functioning as normal.

How do I pay my water bill?
During the cyber security incident we will not shut off water accounts. Those who have
experienced a water shut off may bring payment or proof of payment to City Hall and their water will be reconnected. Anyone having difficulty paying their bill will not receive penalties or late fees until the cyber incident is resolved. Bills may still be paid via cash by coming to City Hall or by mailing payment. Customers looking to set up a new water account may do so by coming to City Hall. Auto payments are suspended for the time being.

If my water is shut off, how do I get reconnected?
During the data breach, we will not be shutting off any water accounts. Those who have
experience a water shut off may bring payment or proof of payment to City Hall and their water
will be reconnected.

Transit:

How will I get a bus ticket or pay bus fare?
Residents may ride Wichita Transit by paying cash.

City Vendors:

I am a vendor for the City of Wichita – how do I get paid?
Please contact your City of Wichita liaison for further information.

Park and Recreation:

Can I still book a class, a golf tee time, etc. through Park and Recreation?
All golf and recreation activities may still be paid for via check or cash at City Hall or at the
location of the class or recreational activity. The Park and Recreation App is also still available
and working.

City Licenses:

Can I pay for or obtain a license through the City?
Licenses may be paid for and obtained by coming to City Hall.

City Meetings:

Will City Council, committees and other advisory board meetings be streamed?
While best efforts will be made to continue streaming any previously streamed public meetings
or media opportunities, at this time, please plan to attend any City meetings in person.

Landfill:

Are landfill operations still in service?
The landfill is accepting cash only at this time.

Arts and Culture:

Are cultural institutions impacted?
Cultural institutions for the City including CityArts, Cowtown and Indian Museum are able to hold ,events as scheduled but payments will only be accepted by cash or check. Century II, Botanica and the Wichita Art Museum are not affected.

Municipal Court:

Is Municipal Court still in operation?
All scheduled dockets will proceed as planned. There is no walk in docket at this time.

What if I have to pay a Municipal Court fine?
Payments to Municipal Court may be made in person. At this time, only cash and check are
being accepted.

Airport:

What impact does this have to the Airport?
No public wi-fi is available at the terminal and arrival and departure screens are not currently
working. Flights are operating normally.

Library:

Is the Library open?
Public WiFi is available at the following locations: Alford, Angelou, Rockwell and Westlink
branches as well as Libby. Staff can check out materials, but checking in materials, pulling holds
and transferring materials between locations might be paused. We are a fine-free library, but will
monitor accounts to make sure other fees are not assessed during this time. Public wifi is not
available at the following locations: Advanced Learning Library, Evergreen and Walters
branches. Other services that may be impacted include: staff email through the City network (if
you email us, we might not be able to respond during this outage), the library website, most
databases, including Kanopy, LinkedIn Learning, etc, the online catalog, the Self-service print
release stations, the self-check stations, the automated materials handler at the Advanced
Learning Library – place returns in the manual book drop, most incoming phone call capability.

Resource Centers:

Are neighborhood resource centers still operational?
Wi-fi and phones are currently down. Unless otherwise noted, all scheduled events services are
operational.

Planning:

Is Planning still able to process cases?
All planning activities will continue. Payments may be made with cash or check.

MABCD:

Is MABCD operational?
There is no expected interruption to MABCD activities.

Housing:

How is Housing and Community Services impacted?
At this time, staff are working to serve those needing Housing and Community services
Assistance as well as we can. Staff will contact those needing service as soon as possible.

Go to wichita.gov/1199/Alert for the latest updates.

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