The third-biggest city in Belgium was hit by a ransomware attack today that has disrupted the municipality’s online services. Most of the city’s civil services and population services are down following the attack, officials said on a status site today. Ryuk is reportedly behind the attack.
Due to the technical issue, many services such as civil status and population have been offline. Online forms for event permits and paid parking are also down, Liege officials said on a status page.
Other services like town hall appointments, birth registration, wedding, and burial services in the city were also affected by the incident. Officials added that they would try to prevent local residents from showing up at city counters.
According to two Belgian radio and TV stations, the attack was carried out by the Ryuk ransomware gang. However, Belgian officials have not gone as far as attributing the attack to any threat actor, but only described the incident as a “computer attack.”
Local city networks are often targeted by ransomware gangs, and the attack on the Liege municipality was not a rare occurrence. It happened mostly due to the lack of adequate security solutions and adequate hardware stack within the city’s infrastructure. Attackers know that cities can’t afford top security solutions nor new IT hardware and often are running outdated servers, therefore they target them.
Besides Liege there were many other municipalities that have fallen victim to ransomware attacks recently. The latest ransomware attack affected Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was followed by attacks in other major US cities like Hackney (London), Atlanta, Baltimore, Denver, Knoxville, and New Orleans.