BALTIMORE, Md. — Fresh off his inauguration, Mayor Jack Young was confronted with hackers working to debilitate the payment system and other servers in Baltimore city.
Those behind the malware have posted a ransom, but Young says, it won’t work.
“Workers are still here working, we just have to do things differently, so I feel very confident that we'll get this done,” Young said, “I ain’t paying no ransom.”
Young could not detail the FBI's efforts to break Baltimore from the malware.
In the meantime, it is back to basics, and a more analogue approach.
A spokesperson from the Department of Public Works says employees are using personal laptops, iPads, even old-fashioned typewriters to get things done.
DPW says it has suspended all late fees for water bills because the department can't bill or collect, but did offer the advice to put money aside because the bill will come due.
“People typically know what they pay over the course of a month for water. Take at least that amount and set it aside because we will send a bill that will include charges for this time period,” said DPW Spokesperson Jeffrey Raymond.
The same goes for things like the impound lot.
No payment system is working there either, adding insult to injury as citizens are paying cash to get their cars back.
Battling the malware may take weeks, city leaders are saying, but they insist the city is still operational.
“The most important thing again is that the city is still operational. Folks can still get the services from the city of Baltimore. Residents, businesses, residents can still get those services, but we have to turn back the clock and go to the phone and paper,” said City Council President Brandon Scott.