Hackers who recently compromised the security of Naperville's website, email and other online services not only put the city into an informational black hole but also a financial black hole.
City council members on Tuesday approved spending as much as $673,000 to acquire network security hardware and software, computer servers, and associated services necessary to bring the city back online after more than two weeks offline.
The noncompetitive bid from Canadian-based N-Dimensions computer consultant includes $395,000 for hardware for security protection and hacker detection, $221,000 for consulting fees for network intrusion identification and analysis and $57,000 for a consultant for network restoration.
The city has already spent $92,000 for work done in the days following the Oct. 2 collapse.
"From this point forward we're focusing on the forensic analysis of the disk images that have been made," said City Manager Doug Krieger.
Krieger, however, said it could be "some weeks" until the city re-establishes secure external email capabilities.
"The internal website came up hours ago. The next area we will be bringing up are the redesign of the website and external email and Internet availability," he said. "What we're waiting for now is the installation software, which is fairly easy and quick, but more importantly would be the installation of three additional firewalls as well as the physical rerouting of some of our fiber."
Once that is complete, Krieger said, the city must decide whether to continue to physically host the servers and data or access them through a yet to be designed cloud-based system.
As the city attempts to recover, the criminal investigation into the hacking continues. The FBI, Naperville police and members of the city's IT staff are working around the clock to track the perpetrator.
"We're going to bring them to justice," Krieger said. "A crime has been committed."
While the website is down, the city has launched "website lite" at naperville.il.us that 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. Residents are also asked to communicate with city officials via a temporary email address set up until the official system is running.
That email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.