Sammamish ransomware attack prompts emergency declaration

Above: Corey Nachreiner of WatchGuard Technologies joined Q13 News at 4 p.m. to explain ransomware.

SAMMAMISH, Wash. -- Sammamish officials say the city's computer system has been targeted by a ransomware attack.

The attack was discovered Wednesday morning and computers at City Hall were shut down for most of the day, Sammamish city spokeswoman Sharon Gavin told The Seattle Times.

The city said Wednesday in a release its internal shared files were impacted.

Interim City Manager Larry Patterson declared an emergency as a result of the attack, which the city says will allow them to bring in a security expert "to help deal with the situation without having to go through the regular contracting procedures."

The expert would look at exactly which systems were impacted and how badly as well as what's required to release the city's data, according to the release.

Sammamish Mayor Christie Malchow said on Twitter that the emergency declaration would also allow Patterson's spending authority to exceed $50,000 without approval from City Council.

"It's imperative we deal with the attack ASAP," Malchow tweeted.

The city says it has removed building permit and map services from its website as a precaution.

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