News Flash • Potential Cybersecurity Breach – Wichita.gov

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Cyber Security Incident Update

Updated May 6, 2024, 4:00 pm

The following are updates to our Frequently Asked Questions regarding the cyber security incident. Please visit http://www.wichita.gov/Alert for all the latest updates.

The information technology department and its security partners continue to work around the clock to address the cyber security incident. Many City systems are down as security experts determine the source and extent of the incident. There is no timetable for when systems could be coming back online. We appreciate your patience as we work through this incident as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. Incident recovery information and FAQs are accurate as to the time of the most current information release. For the most current updates, please continue visiting http://www.wichita.gov/Alert. 

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. 

Cyber Security Incident Update

Updated May 5, 2024, 3:30 pm

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 wichita.gov/alert.

Cyber Security Incident FAQ

What Happened?

On May 5, 2024, certain City systems were encrypted by malware. In response, some computer network and systems were shut down to prevent the spread of the malware. Certain services may be temporarily unavailable while systems are offline. The City is enabling business continuity measures, where appropriate, to minimize disruption and is working with third-party specialists to safely and securely restore the computer network.

What is encryption malware?

Encryption malware is a type of computer virus that locks files without permission. A third party then seeks payment for a key to unlock the computer files. This is often called ransomware, which uses computer software to lock files and withhold the key to unlock the files until a payment is made. Unfortunately, government organizations are often targeted by these groups.

Has law enforcement been notified?

Yes, federal and local law enforcement authorities are assisting with this matter.

What group is claiming responsibility?

This is not being shared for operational security purposes.

What is the impact on data?

We are completing a thorough review and assessment of this matter, including the potential impact on data. Detailed assessments of these types of incidents take time. We thank you for your patience, understanding, and respect for the integrity of this review process.

Are first responders (Fire/Police) still providing services?

Yes, they are. They are prepared for these matters and have switched to business continuity measures where appropriate to continue providing exceptional service.

When will systems be back online?

We are working with specialists to thoroughly review and assess systems before putting them back online. Systems will be restored on a staggered basis to minimize disruptions. We do not have a definitive timeline for returning all systems to production.

Media requests:

We encourage media and residents to visit wichita.gov/alert for the latest updates and FAQs about this incident.

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