Oakland City Hall Credit: Amir Aziz

Some city services have returned to Oakland two weeks after a ransomware attack caused network outages and rendered many non-emergency systems inoperable. 

The city issued a brief statement online Monday announcing wireless internet in city facilities had been restored, as well as access to public computers. All public library branches are also once again able to offer scanning, printing, copying, and internet services.

“The City of Oakland is grateful to have some of the industry’s top experts helping guide our response,” read the statement. The city has not disclosed the names of the firms contracted to help recover its IT systems, however.

The partial recovery comes a week after interim City Administrator G. Harold Duffey declared a local state of emergency in response to the ransomware attack. The attack began the evening of Feb. 8 and systems were impacted the following morning. 

District 7 Councilmember Treva Reid told The Oaklandside last Friday that her office hasn’t received too many complaints about the downed systems, but this could be because the city’s voicemail system has been inoperable. “One of the challenges we face is that our neighbors can’t reach us,” said Reid. “We don’t currently have the ability to transfer voicemails left on our phones to our remote locations.”

District 4 Councilmember Janani Ramachandran said she’s been hearing fewer complaints and more anxious sentiments about the exact nature of the ransomware attack.

“This is a pretty serious attack and we acknowledge that some of these ransomware attacks are happening to government systems around the world,” Ramachandran said. “What I’m hearing is a more general concern for whether there’s compromised data and what’s going to happen to it.” 

The City Council met in closed session Tuesday with information security consultants to discuss the ongoing ransomware attack.

Ricky Rodas is a member of the 2020 graduating class of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Before joining The Oaklandside, he spent two years reporting on immigrant communities in the Bay Area as a reporter for the local news sites Oakland North, Mission Local, and Richmond Confidential. Rodas, who is Salvadoran American and bilingual, is on The Oaklandside team through a partnership with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.