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Online water bill payment returns in Atlanta following ransomware attack

Officials say you'll still need to do a couple of things before you log in, however.
Credit: Barry Williams/Getty Images
Traffic crawls through downtown Atlanta along Interstate 75/85 during rush hour

ATLANTA -- For the first time since a ransomware attack crippled Atlanta computer networks, residents of the city will be able to pay their water bills online.

Atlanta Watershed Management spokesperson Rukiya Campbell said the payment option has resumed for residents in the city but also added that they'll need to follow a few steps to make sure they can successfully get into the system.

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Campbell said that if residents are accessing the site from the same IP address they used before the breach, they will need to clear their browsing data to prevent the website from "timing out."

The city has provided a list of steps in several popular browsers to make that possible.

Water bill payment is just the latest service to return following a $50,000 ransomware attack encrypted city computers rendering them almost useless. While key services like emergency services and water weren't directly impacted, some niceties connected to online services were either hit or shut down to prevent any other attacks.

How to protect your personal computer from ransomware

City of Atlanta also hacked in 2017, Georgia-based cybersecurity firm says

Atlanta hit by ransomware attack, city employees told not to turn on computers

The city ultimately refused to pay the ransom in exchange for a key and spent an estimated $2.6 million to repair damage and reinforce their systems to prevent another attack.

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