Has Oakland been hit with a second ransomware attack? (1)

As the public knows by now, Oakland, California was hit with a ransomware attack by the Play ransomware gang on February 8, and has been struggling since then to recover. Data from the attack started to be leaked on March 4. Play leaked about 10 GB of files, compressed, and threatened to leak more if there was no response. They have not leaked any additional data since that date, and the city’s last update was on March 8.

Although the city has been reluctant to provide further updates, ABC reporter Stephanie Sierra pushed for, and got, some answers from Mayor Sheng Thao at a March 20 news conference on another topic. All systems are not yet back online and some services are still disrupted. The mayor estimated it would be weeks, or maybe next month before everything was restored. Current employees have been notified, the mayor said, and they are now working on notifying former employees.

Based on that status, it doesn’t sound like the city ever paid ransom, and may eventually see more data dumped by Play.

But the city’s luck may have taken another bad turn. On March 21, the day after the conference, LockBit3.0 added Oakland to its own leak site, and threatens to leak data from them in 19 days if they are not paid. Brett Callow called attention to the listing this morning on infosec.exchange.

LockBit’s listing does not include any specific claims about amount of data allegedly acquired. Nor does it provide any proof pack or samples. It is impossible to tell from the listing whether there are any data that were also in the Play attack.

Because LockBit has not been responsive to Tox in quite a while, DataBreaches sent Play an inquiry asking if they had any involvement or cooperation with LockBit in the Oakland incident. No reply has been received as yet.

DataBreaches has also sent an email inquiry to Oakland asking about the claimed LockBit attack, but no reply was immediately received. This post will be updated when a reply is received.

Update: Nicole Neditch responded for the city with the following statement:

We are aware of these claims, and our investigation with cybersecurity professionals and federal law enforcement remains ongoing. Based on the investigation so far, we have no indication there was additional unauthorized access of our systems.

No responses have been received from Play or from LockBit. The latter were left a message using Sonar.


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