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Atlanta mayor testifies about how cities can recover from cyberattacks

Mayor Bottoms spoke to a House subcommittee about Atlanta's 2013 cyberattack and surviving in a world of digital threats.

WASHINGTON — Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms testified about the 2018 Atlanta cyberattack before the House Committee on Cybersecurity in Washington on Tuesday afternoon.

She detailed how the March 2018 attack, just 77 days into her term as mayor impacted many facets of the city's operations, including the loss of records. 

"The cost of recovery to date, has been approximately $7.2 million, and that number is still climbing," Bottoms said. "Some costs have been reimbursed under our cyber insurance policy."

Most notable among the loss of records was the loss of dashcam files by the Atlanta Police Department.

"Atlanta is rebounding and sharing its experience," Bottoms said. 

She said they have had conversations with other cities so that they may be able to learn from Atlanta's experiences and update their own cybersecurity systems.

"We are very fortunate that it wasn't our 911 system, but it very well could have been," Bottoms said. "Our cities must prioritize and anticipate in the same way to anticipate any other disaster. It is a disaster when it hits your city."

She said that since the incident, the city has learned to diversify how files have been stored in order to limit risk in the future.


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