Oakland ransomware attack: FBI still in talks with hacker group, mayor says ‘up to 1 month’ before city systems are fully operational

OAKLAND, CA (KGO) — At least 4,300 current Oakland City employees may have been hacked following a ransomware attack last month. Now, perhaps thousands of former employees who worked in 2010 are, too.

The ABC News I-Team has tried five times over the past few weeks to talk to Auckland Mayor Sheng Tao about the current situation, but each time we’ve been told she’s unavailable.

Mayor Tao held a press conference on affordable housing on Monday. The I-Team came to get answers to our questions.

RELATED: Oakland officials and experts fear ransomware group could leak more ‘sensitive’ stolen data, sources say

Stephanie Sierra: “We have heard from people whose credit cards have been compromised, and in some cases their identities stolen, they want to hear from you about how you are working to solve this problem. Can you provide us with an update?”

Mayor Tao: “Update is that this is an ongoing investigation. We work closely with the FBI, not only with the FBI, but also with the OPD. We have a wonderful staff of IT professionals in the city of Auckland. Your best bet is to back up all of our systems online, we’ll have a backup of all our systems online in the next couple of weeks or so.”

Auckland City Council member Noel Gallo says the phones in his office still don’t work.

Are the phones working? asked Stephanie Sierra of the I-Team.

VIDEO: Auckland ransomware attack: Data breach garners over 3,100 views on the dark web

“So we can receive calls on our phones, but we can’t check our voicemail,” said Brittany Garza, special assistant to council member Gallo. “I know when I pick up the phone, but no one can hear me.”

Gallo and Garza are a small fraction of the thousands of employees potentially affected by the attack.

Sierra: “How long do you expect this to be resolved? Some say years. I just want to hear from you.”

Mayor Tao: “So the systems will be back online. Hopefully in the next few weeks or so, so it’s just about manpower to restore all systems. next month”.

Sierra: “How many people were notified that they were compromised? Have you completed this process by 50%? Are you almost done with this process?

Mayor Tao: “It will be an ongoing process. We have notified current employees. Not only this. But now we are notifying employees who have left the city. So it will be an ongoing process to make sure we are thorough.”

Sierra: “And this process is still going on right now?”

Mayor Tao: “This process is still going on. Let me be very clear. This is a huge under-investment in our IT systems compared to the previous administration. This is what we have inherited.”

Sierra: “Was your information compromised as a result of this leak?”

Mayor Tao: “Absolutely. I’ve been here for 10 years, so this applies to me.”

RELATED: Social Security, Oakland employees banking info, businesses could be compromised by ransomware leak

Toward the end of the press conference, the mayor issued an appeal to ask any additional housing questions. The I-Team tried to ask another question.

Sierra: “I’ve got one more question.”

Mayor Tao: “Housing problem?”

Stephanie: “This is a ransomware question. Can I ask you more?”

Mayor Tao: “No. Already three.”

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