On an average day, Naperville’s online security software turns away more than 500,000 hacking attempts.
Last Tuesday, however, a successful virus attack forced a shutdown of the city’s website, email system and other online features including the auto bill pay feature.
Though many of those features remain down and will for an unspecified amount of time, with the exception of the bill pay system which returned Monday afternoon, city officials maintain public safety and personal financial information was not compromised.
City Manager Doug Krieger said Monday night that the city’s police and information technology departments are investigating the breach as a crime, leading to the delay in bringing the system back up.
“We want to make sure that we don’t destroy any of the evidence out there. A crime has been committed,” Krieger said. “The perpetrator has left the equivalent of digital fingerprints, and if we bring it back online the additional traffic would be similar to crossing the yellow police tape and trampling over a crime scene.”
Krieger said the attack appears to be launched by a human, as opposed to a computer launched attack, and it does not appear any data was actually removed from the system. Council members said they understand the delay in relaunching the system.
“I think it’s imperative that we do everything possible to find out who hacked the city,” Councilman Joe McElroy said. “And if that means it may take a little longer to get it back, then that’s what it means.”
In addition to the investigation, Krieger said a fix has not yet been identified.
“We do not have an adequate security repair identified and that is why I am not going to recommend that the system be brought back up until we have a patch designed, tested and put in place that would prevent an identical compromise,” Krieger said.
While the website is down, the city las launched “website lite” at naperville.il.us which incudes a list of phone numbers and city meeting information.
City staff can be contacted with FOIA requests, building permits or other matters at (630) 420-6111, where callers will hear prompts enabling them to reach the appropriate department; call volumes may be running higher than usual. They may also inquire in person at the Municipal Center. Paper copies of meeting agendas and packets are available to view in the city clerk’s office as well as the Naperville Public Library.
Updates about the status of the City’s full website and related services will be made available through other communication outlets, including government access TV station WCNC (Ch. 6-WOW, Ch. 10-Comcast, Ch. 99-AT&T) and WPFP 1610AM. Information also can be found on the city’s Facebook page at facebook.com/NapervilleIL and Twitter account at www.twitter.com/NapervilleIL.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.