City of Antwerp hit by cyber attack

City of Antwerp hit by cyber attack
Antwerp City Hall in the city centre, Thursday 22 October 2020. Credit: Belga / Jasper Jacobs

The City of Antwerp was targeted by a cyber attack Monday to Tuesday night. The City's administration confirmed the attack, adding that digital services have been disrupted, several local media reports.

Almost all Windows applications of the City's administration have been impacted, according to Het Laatste Nieuws. The disruption has caused the administration's internal services not to be up to speed, including services provided to citizens.

Appointments at the City's counters are currently not working, although the city's website can still be used.

Ransomware has been detected on the city's servers. Ransomware is software that allows threat actors to take control of the assets of a target and demand ransom for the availability and confidentiality of these assets.

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Ransomware is the biggest cyber security threat to governments and companies in 2022, according to the European Union's Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA).

Antwerp City's crisis team are examining the impact of the hacking attack and are trying to make systems operational again.

Not all systems are down, as the databases for police information can still be consulted, according to Het Laatste Nieuws. However, administrative programs have been closed.

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