City investigates Anonymous cyber attack

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Albuquerque is still dealing with the major cyber attack that shut down some online pages over the weekend.

The hack job was done as a protest against APD over the controversial shooting of James Boyd in the foothills.

By Thursday, most parts of the city’s and APD’s websites were back up and running, but there’s no question the online attack caused the city problems.

“APD you now have the full attention of Anonymous,” the group announced in a video online last week. In a planned online protest the international group, Anonymous, which is known for hacking into government websites, hit Albuquerque.

“You know the city’s a big target when it comes to hackers and cyber crime situations but to this extent we’ve never experienced anything of this magnitude,” explained Peter Ambs, Albuquerque Chief Information Officer.

Political activists blackened APD’s website Saturday night and caused problems with the city’s site, keeping the city from collecting on parking tickets and paying vendors.

“We’ve got all of those processes, online processes are now restored to their full capability,” said Ambs.

The attack was in response to the police shooting of homeless camper James Boyd in the foothills more than two weeks ago.

“Let them know that your city is not a place for war games against the homeless and the less fortunate,” stated the Anonymous video.

Now, city officials say they’re investigating the cyber crime. “Essentially, it was illegal what they did,” said Ambs.

Ambs said the city can’t elaborate on who’s helping with the investigation because of security concerns.

But even if Anonymous stays anonymous, the city says it has learned a lesson. “We are going to maintain a much higher security posture, a much higher vigilance when it comes to what the possible threats and attackers are capable of,” explained Ambs. “Certainly this has been a learning experience that’s going to make us better going forward.”

Ambs said the city is still assessing the total cost for fixing everything after the attack, adding, they did have to pay a lot of overtime.

Not everything is back up. By Thursday close of business, the city still hadn’t fixed part of the transparency section of the website, where you can search names, jobs and salaries of city workers.

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