Atlanta employees now allowed to turn on computers after cyber attack

ATLANTA — City of Atlanta workers are using their computers for the first time Tuesday following last week's ransomware attack.

But getting everything back to normal could take a while.

Sources tell Channel 2's Investigative Reporter Aaron Diamant that it was sort of a "hit or miss day" as employees began to use their computers.

There was no briefing from the mayor's office, so Diamant turned to a cyber security expert who broke down how investigations like this work and offered a series of warnings.

“There’s two enemies to this investigation, in any investigation, time and money,” said Versprite cyber-security consultant Tony Ucedavelez.

The city of Atlanta is struggling to recover from last week's massive ransomware attack on the city's computer network that crippled many key customer services.

“You don’t have the money to spend for a team to be in your networks, on your server perpetually, because it costs a lot money, we’re talking about hundreds of dollars an hour,” Ucedavelez said.


For the first time since the attack, the city allowed employees to turn on their computers and printers to help assess fallout from the hack.

But city leaders gave no new updates on how that process went.

“I still think that they’re trying to narrow down how they got in, if they’re still in, and what sort of measures they’re going to need to do in order to sanitize the environment,” Ucedavelez said.

And until that happens Ucedavelez said officials shouldn’t restore data to systems that are still compromised.

Ucedavelez said he believes the bigger picture expands much further than the technical attack that took place.

“The biggest challenge is at the end of this is the legal aspect, right? How did this happen? Who was negligent, and did the City of Atlanta actually know about the holes in their infrastructure beforehand?” Ucedavelez said.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has said investigators have found no signs any sensitive employee or customer data has been compromised. Still, several city departments are doing a lot of their work on paper.

Municipal court and Watershed Management still can't process payments.