Mayor: City hasn’t paid ransom over Bardstown Connect cyberattack

Bardstown Mayor Dick Heaton takes reporters questions during his press conference Thursday afternoon in regard to the ransomware cyberattack the disrupted the city’s internet services.

Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022 (CORRECTED Saturday, Sept. 9, 2022, 12:20 p.m.) — Mayor Dick Heaton met with members of the media Thursday afternoon and provided an update on the network disruption that knocked the city’s Bardstown Connect internet service offline starting at about 3 a.m. Friday, Sept. 2.

Heaton confirmed the city experienced a ransomware cyberattack. Due to the fact there is an ongoing investigation into the event by the FBI, Homeland Security, KSP and New York-based Kroll Security Group, Heaton could not provide reporters with specific answers to their many questions.

Kroll Security Group is the cybersecurity firm with whom the city has partnered due to the ransomware attack. The city’s IT team is currently working with Kroll to help improve security to prevent a similar event in the future.

Heaton refused to state the amount of the ransom that was requested. He did confirm that the city had not paid a ransom. Because of the ongoing investigation, he could not provide additional details.

“Our main focus is on restoring services and finishing the investigation,” he said..

He also would not address a question about how the ransomware attack infiltrated the city’s internet system. He also would not specify if the affected computers’ were encrypted or otherwise blocked from being used because of the malicious attack.

The city’s top priority from the start of the outage was to get customers back on line, and to restore email access, he said.

Some of the city’s computers outside the internet department were affected, but those have not caused any disruptions in city operations.

None of the city’s large commercial accounts suffered an outage, he said.

So far, the investigation has not found that customer data had been compromised by the ransomware attack. Heaton promised that if the investigation determines customer data was compromised, the city will promptly contact customers and let them know.

In the city’s social media releases, it has included links to credit reporting agencies in the event customers wish to monitor their credit report for suspicious activity.

Heaton heaped praise on the city’s IT department, some of whom worked 22 hours straight at the start of the outage to get Bardstown Connect internet restored.

In his update, he noted that internet subscribers who still don’t have their internet and email access restored should contact Bardstown Connect at (502) 348-5947.


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