Antwerp’s city services went offline due to ransomware attack

The city services of Antwerp, Belgium were disrupted by a cyberattack on its digital provider. The disruption has affected services used by citizens, schools, daycare centers, and the police.

The investigation is ongoing and the cyber-attack is believed to be a ransomware attack from a threat actor that has not been disclosed yet.

According to Het Laatste Nieuws (HLN), the hackers managed to disrupt Antwerp’s services after breaching the servers of Digipolis, the city’s digital partner that provides administrative software.

The publication also notes that almost all Windows applications have been impacted. Phone service for some departments was also unavailable.

The problems also extend to the city’s reservation system, which has been shut down, leaving people unable to receive their identity cards.

Some of the other services that were affected by the attack are those from the Antwerp Healthcare Company (Zorgbedrijf Antwerpen), which provides residential care services to seniors in the province. The attack made the software that kept track of who should receive medication unusable.

The cyberattack has forced the staff in 18 residential care centers to switch to pen and paper and rely on traditional paper prescriptions for the seniors needing them.

Some of the digital services have been working intermittently today. It is however unclear when Antwerp’s IT systems will become fully functional. It is estimated that the impact could last until the end of December.

Although the police and the fire department have also been impacted, emergency services continue to be available.

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