City of Long Beach declares local emergency after cyberattack

The City of Long Beach, California, was hit with a 'network security incident' on November 14th, some systems were forced to shut down, and now a local emergency is being announced.

The Long Beach City Manager put out a statement Thursday evening proclaiming the City a local emergency.

The City Manager is bidding it will be moved up to a state of emergency by Friday, after an official public meeting with the City Council will kick off at noon PST, Friday, November 17th.

Following the public forum, the Council will vote on the resolution.

After launching an initial investigation into the Tuesday event, the City eventually labeled it as a “network security incident.”

Still, Long Beach officials told its citizens, that out of an abundance of caution, the city decided it would take certain systems offline the following day.

“These systems will remain offline until the City can safely and securely reintroduce them to the network, which could take several days, the statement said.

The Long Beach officials will now vote on whether to upgrade from a local to a full state of emergency with the aim of streamlining emergency services as the investigation continues.

Long Beach cyberattack emergency

The Manager has stated the case for the upgrade, declaring “a very dynamic situation that could have significant impacts on the City’s ability to provide critical services to the public.”

The City is looking to expand funding to bring in outside emergency contracts and services as needed.

City officials have made the meeting available to the public in person and on zoom, and are encouraging people to voice their opinion.

Earlier Thursday afternoon, the City put out two official news statements on its website, one about the incident and the City’s response; the other about the launch of info webpage created to inform the public about updates.

City municipal phone lines and the public should expect some delays in services.

City officials also said there was no indication Emergency Communications Center and emergency response from Police and Fire were impacted.

Meantime, the City said internal IT teams and outside cybersecurity experts “are working diligently to identify the source and scope of the incident.

The teams, along with the FBI, are currently assessing potential vulnerabilities, implementing additional security measures, and strategizing “mitigation, response and recovery plan.”

The City of Long Beach is now the third city in California to be hit by a cyber incident. In April, only two days apart, the City of Oakland and the City of Modesto were hit with ransomware attacks.

After claiming the City of Oakland on its dark leak site weeks later, the Play ransomware gang went ahead and leaked about 10GB of sensitive data. The City of Modesto was claimed by The Snatch ransomware group.

So far, there is no word on what caused the network security event and no ransomware group has come forward to claim responsibility at this time.

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