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FBI looking into hack of Beatrice city services

September 25, 2018

Operations have largely returned to normal after a hack on the City of Beatrice’s computer and phone systems last week.

A virus shut down many operations, including phone and internet services for the Beatrice Police Department, Beatrice Fire and Rescue and Board of Public Works.

City Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer said the FBI has since inquired about the attack.

“As far as the FBI, they heard about it and had inquired about it, asking for more information,” Tempelmeyer said. “Basically, they want to know where the hack came from and trace that back. We provided them some scripts and stuff like that to track it down.”

Tempelmeyer said turning over computer data was the extent of the city’s involvement in the FBI’s investigation and there’s no word if a source of the virus has been traced.

The virus was contained to the downtown area. Other city offices such as the library and Board of Public Works service center were not impacted by the outage.

Emergency 911 services were not impacted by the virus, and Tempelmeyer said that there’s no indication that utility customers’ billing or other data was stolen.

“All information at this point is that nothing was taken, exposed, impacted or any of those things,” he said. “We have forensics people looking into that, but everything so far is no.”

The hack occurred early in the morning last Monday and systems were restored late last week.

Tempelmeyer said that while losing phone and internet services posed a challenge, the city continued operations as normal last week.

“Emergency responses were never impacted,” he said. “We made payroll last week. Everything else is running, it’s just a matter of getting access to files on the computers. The biggest thing is to make sure you identify it, isolate it and then just continue to work through systems one at a time to get back up and running.”

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