Alaska Borough Spends $2M on Cyberattack Recovery Efforts

    PALMER, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska borough has spent more than $2 million in recovery efforts after a cyber attack paralyzed its computer systems for weeks, officials said.

    The attack in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough took out 650 desktop computers and servers three months ago, knocking offline everything from landfill receipts to borough email, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

    Now borough administrators are asking for $1 million in emergency reserves to help cover the costs.

    The request is for $500,000 from a repair and renovation reserve and another $500,000 from a capital expenditures reserve.

    The money is paying for recovery — "cleaning" virus-infected computers and servers — but also improving the security system with upgrades deferred in past years, according to borough IT director Eric Wyatt.

    "I couldn't just bring us back to where we were," Wyatt said. "I have to bring us back to an improved state."

    The borough declared an emergency over the cyber attack in late July, requesting help from state disaster money but that request hasn't been approved.

    The Matanuska-Susitna Assembly will meet Tuesday night.

    Officials also expect to tap a cyber insurance policy with possible reimbursement of up to $1 million. That policy won't cover all of the costs, but it will cover aspects, Wyatt said.

    The cost of responding to the attack is approaching $2.1 million, according to a memo attached to the Assembly proposal.

    It was not immediately clear who may have been responsible for the cyber attack.

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