The Macon Water Authority

790 Second Street • Macon, GA 31202-0108 • (478) 464-5600

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Apologies for Inconvenience of Ransomware

Dec 9, 2019 by Chris Wood, Ph.D.

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The Macon Water Authority is on the road to recovery from a Ransomware Attack that hit on Oct. 27, 2019, extending apologies to customers who have been inconvenienced by this incident.

“We want to apologize to our customers for the inconveniences we know they have experienced and may continue to experience as a result of the Ransomware Attack,” says Tony Rojas, MWA President and Executive Director. “Long waits on hold and limited access to online services are not indicative of how we do business.”

While the event impacted Customer Care and Business Operations software that’s necessary to read meters and generate bills accordingly, the Ransomware did not impact the Authority’s ability to deliver safe and reliable water and sewer services. There have been no service interruptions during the incident.

In addition, according to the results of the forensic examination of the Ransomware incident, the Authority is sure that no customer account or financial information was compromised as a result of the attack.

To begin the long road to recovery from Ransomware, the MWA cleaned its servers that house customer data and restored those servers, which are back online, with the backup customer data that was in place prior to the Ransomware Attack.

MWA customers now can access their account information and utilize payment methods through all conventional and electronic platforms, including the web portal.
With the customer service software back online, the MWA has re-established its ability to read meters and record those readings for billing processes, beginning with the December 2019 customer invoices.

Prior to that, when its customer service, billing and financial software was offline, the MWA generated bills during the month of November according to estimates of consumption.
The first customer bills to reflect actual water/sewer usage from a meter reading (those bills starting on December 2nd) will resolve any differences between the actual customer usage and the estimates from the previous month.

For the time that the Ransomware limited customer access to their accounts and payment methods, MWA customers will not be assessed late penalties, administrative fees, or enforcement actions, such as disconnection of water/sewer service.

“We want to thank our customers for their understanding during this difficult time, and ask for their continued patience as we get back to our normal billing cycles and business operations,” adds Rojas. “Our employees and customers have accepted these inconveniences and endured this burden, because we did not want to incentivize the criminal activity of those responsible for the Ransomware.”

Media contact:
Lisa Golphin, MWA Sr. Executive of Strategic Planning
P: 478-464-5623
E: lgolphin@maconwater.org

Tagged: mwa, macon water authority, ransomware, mwa customer care

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