City reinforcing, upgrading computer system while system still down after cyberattack

The city of New Iberia’s computer network is still down, but Mayor Freddie DeCourt said he is taking advantage of the downtime to reinforce and upgrade the city’s system.

“We’re taking the time to do several things,” DeCourt said Monday. “We’re moving it to the cloud for storage, for one thing. We’re also upgrading and updating some pieces.”

The city’s network was attacked a week ago on Tuesday night as the city council was meeting. According to DeCourt, the city’s information technology could see the files being encrypted and was able to take immediate action, possibly minimizing the damage from the attack.

The New Iberia hack came a day after a ransomware attack hit the Louisiana state computer network, leaving its systems down for more than a week. A few of those systems, like those at eight Office of Motor Vehicles locations around the state, came back online Monday.

The city hack is not the first to hit Iberia Parish this year. The Iberia Parish School Board had its network attacked in August, just before school started. As in the New Iberia hack, IT techs were able to identify the attack early and shut down the network to prevent the damage from spreading.

DeCourt said computer experts from the Louisiana National Guard and State Police were on site helping the city and New Iberia Police technicians secure and restore the city’s data.

“Hopefully when we are finished we will be a lot more resistant to any future attempts to attack the network,” DeCourt said.

He was not able to give a date for completion of the work on the city’s network.

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