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Detroit Reveals Malware Targeted City Employees

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DETROIT (WWJ) — Detroit revealed details of a recent computer security breach Monday that affected files containing personal information for a large number of city employees.

Beth Niblock, Detroit’s chief information officer, discussed the breach during a Monday news conference.

Niblock says that there is no indication that anyone’s information has been compromised and that the breach was discovered February 8th.

She called the incident a common malware attack, whose only purpose was to lock files.

“Our initial investigation shows not like many other places, it was malware that came through email and somebody clicked a link,” she said. “The malware locks files indiscriminately – it doesn’t know what it’s doing … it doesn’t know the nature of the information in the files and really the purpose of that is just to really lock the files and make it inaccessible.”

According to Niblock, about 1,700 current and former fire and EMS employees were affected by this lock.

She said two of the targeted files did contain personal information.

“We were able to recover those files from our backup systems,” Niblock said.  

Niblock did say that those affected employees are being offered free credit monitoring and identity theft protection.  The company is also beefing up computer security and will retrain employees on computer safety.

The city is also beefing up its computer security and plans to offer enhanced safety training to its employees.

The city says two affected files contained the identifying information but the breach doesn’t appear to have put employees’ personal information at risk.

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