‘Cybersecurity event’ impacts City of Jacksonville Beach operations

After the Jacksonville Beach City Hall and other city operations were abruptly shut down Monday, the city said on Tuesday that the closures were because of a “cybersecurity event.”

The city announced it was temporarily shutting down because of an information system issue. City hall, parks, and recreation facilities along with city staff emails were impacted.

Mayor Christine Hoffman said in a statement Monday that the city hall would reopen the next day with limited operations. According to an update posted to the city’s website, city hall was open for regular business hours with limited functionality, city staff was still unable to receive emails but the tennis court and golf course were open.

The City of Jacksonville Beach recently began experiencing information systems issues, impacting certain City functions. Upon discovery, we promptly initiated an investigation and notified law enforcement.

We recently confirmed the issues are the result of a cybersecurity event. We are working to restore our systems and services as quickly as possible. As our investigation into this matter is ongoing, we are unable to provide further details at this time.

The city said there’s no indication that sensitive data was compromised. Chris Freedman, CEO of OnDefend, a cybersecurity company, said there are many reasons attacks can happen.

“Often there’s a financial goal for the attacker to access data, possibly ask for a ransom, after encrypting the data. There are activists sometimes that want to certainly affect American governments. But in this case, we just don’t know all the details yet,” he said.

Freedman said if you’re concerned about a security breach with a local government or a company, there are online services that can tell you if your data is on the dark web as a result of a breach.

“There’s also personal identity protection services out there, such as LifeLock and others that you can employ to make sure that if your data was out there, at least you can have measures to protect your identity,” Freedman said.

The city also noted that city staff is working tirelessly to restore all operations and functionality to better serve the community.

To keep up with updates, visit jacksonvillebeach.org.

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