Town restores computer network after ransomware attack

EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island town is restoring access to parts of its municipal computer network following a ransomware attack.

About 75% of East Greenwich's computer servers were infected with encryption Thursday afternoon, said Town Manager Andrew Nota.

Nota told The Providence Journal that town employees shut down their systems as soon as they realized there was an attack. No town officials communicated with the hackers.

Ransomeware is a form of malicious software that renders files inaccessible unless a computer user pays thieves to release them.

Most of the information the attackers blocked was publicly-available and had recently been backed up so “the impact was minimal,” Nota said.

The town's information technology department and a third-party vendor have been restoring the information that was encrypted.

No personal information was stolen and at least 10 to 20 town department computers have been found to be infected, Nota said. That figure is likely to rise as the investigation continues.