Council honors IT team for rapid response to cyberattack on city infrastructure

Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022 — Mayor Dick Heaton took time at Tuesday night’s Bardstown City Council meeting to recognize the city’s IT team that worked countless hours in the wake of a ransomware cyber attack on city computers that began at about 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2nd.

Despite the severity of the attack, the city IT team and its consultants had more than 2,000 internet customers back online the same day of the attack. The city’s commercial fiberoptics users saw no disruption in their services, he said.


“They worked around the clock to get things done,” Heaton explained. “They really answered the call on behalf of the community.”

In addition to the cyber attack, the city’s had to deal with internet outages as the result of dove hunters. Hunters apparently shot two fiberoptic lines — one in the Woodlawn area, and the other near Hilton Lane — that left customers in those areas without access. The IT crews responded to those outages and restored service.

“Great job guys, we’re proud of you and the job you’ve done,” he said. “Thank you.”

TAX RATE APPROVED. The council held a public hearing in regard to the city’s proposed tax rate immediately before the evening’s city council meeting.

There was no public comment.

The council approved second and final reading of a tax rate lower than last year’s rate that will still result in a 4 percent increase in tax revenue.

Aaron Boles, the city’s chief financial officer, said that property values in the city had increased enough to allow the city to increase tax revenue by 4 percent and lower the tax rates.

The 2021 property tax rate was 17.8 cents per $100 value. The new 2022 tax rate is 16.8 cents per $100 value for both real estate and personal property.

RANSOMWARE ATTACK. The recent ransomware attack on the City of Bardstown was on the agenda for discussion at Tuesday night’s meeting — but only away from the eyes of the public in an executive session.

The executive session notice offered some clues as to what may have been discussed.

“Discussion of public infrastructure records related to information technology exempted from disclosure under KRS 63.878(1)(m). Public records which, if disclosed, have a reasonable likelihood of threatening the public safety by exposing a vulnerability in preventing, protecting against, mitigating, or responding to a terrorist act.”

Earlier in the meeting, Bardstown Mayor Dick Heaton explained that the ongoing investigation means the city won’t release additional details about the ransomware attack. Therefore, discusson about the attack with the council had to be done behind closed doors.

The council later returned to open session and announced it took no action.

In other business, the council:

— approved a $8,000 donation request by the Stephen Foster Drama Association. The funds will be used to upgrade the drama’s telephone system to use voice over internet protocol.

— approved requested road closures for the craft beer festival next month. The festival is a drama association fundraiser.

— approved a proclamation setting next week aside as National Adult Services Week.

— approved changes to the fee schedule for the city cemetery. Out-of-county residents will now pay a premium price to be buried at the city cemetery.


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