A cyber incident in Cleveland shuts down the city’s IT systems

Cleveland is investigating a cyber incident that forced the city to shut down its IT systems

Chris Riotta (@chrisriotta) •
June 11, 2024

A cyber incident in Cleveland shuts down the city's IT systems
The city of Cleveland said it is investigating the cyber incident. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Officials have launched an investigation into a cyber incident that forced the city of Cleveland, Ohio, to shut down its IT systems this week, according to Tuesday’s announcement.

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The city said it was working to understand the nature and scope of the incident after discovering irregularities in its IT environment on Monday.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we have cut off access to city systems,” the announcement reads. Emergency services, such as 911, continued to operate throughout the incident and were also conducting trash collection, lawn mowing and recreation programs. The incident had no impact on the city’s court system.

It’s unclear whether the shutdown is due to the cyberattack, but on Monday the city provided a steady stream of updates on systems that remained unaffected. Officials say the incident did not impact local taxpayer information, as well as customer information held by local utilities.

On the day of the incident, the city was beginning its summer programs, although it is unclear whether the IT shutdown caused any disruption to those sessions.

“We will be able to determine the duration of this incident as the investigation gains more information,” the announcement reads, adding: “Upon discovery of the incident, we took immediate action to address any irregularities.”

According to local media, Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb initially described the incident as a “violation” during a press conference on Monday. However, the city’s IT commissioner later described the incident as a “cyber event” and said officials would not release further details to avoid compromising the investigation.

“We’re seeing this happening across the country, from city governments to large Fortune 500 companies, as well as large health care companies,” Bibb told reporters. “We wanted to make sure we could get the situation under control, manage it and get back to work as quickly as possible.”