The Macon Water Authority

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

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Water/Sewer Not Affected by Ransomware

Nov 4, 2019 by Chris Wood, Ph.D.

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The MWA continues to address a recent ransomware attack, but the utility assures customers that the safe, reliable delivery of water and sewer services is not impacted.

The Macon Water Authority (MWA) continues to provide essential water and sewer services for customers during the current Ransomware Attack that has impacted its business operations, which include activities dependent upon the utility’s customer service, billing and financial software.

MWA officials also are reassuring customers that there is no evidence that their personal and financial information has been compromised. In addition, during this time of no access to MWA customer service software and self-service web portal, the utility will not be applying late penalties, administrative fees, or enforcement actions – which include the disconnection of services or the reporting of delinquent accounts to credit bureaus. Customers will be given ample time to pay their balances after the software is back online.

MWA staff discovered the Ransomware Attack on Sunday afternoon Oct. 27, 2019, at which time the Authority began the process of isolating infected data, reducing the chance of reinfection, and restoring data to its secured state prior to the attack.

As a result, MWA staff and customers have been unable to access account information. However, the Authority – with verification provided by cyber security consulting experts – has found no evidence of a breach of any customer account or financial information at this time. If the MWA uncovers evidence in the future that customer data has been hacked, customers will be notified immediately, says Tony Rojas, MWA Executive Director and President.

“We apologize for the obvious inconvenience this is causing our customers who want to pay their bill through our web portal or via credit cards,” says Rojas, who notes, however, that customers can continue to make payments via cash or check at the MWA Second Street Headquarters, or via bank drafts or electronic payments through their financial institutions. “More importantly, we want to emphasize that we continue to provide them with safe, reliable water and sewer services, which is our core mission.”

Rojas says that the utility’s staff, with help from IT and cyber security consultants, are working 24/7 to get systems back online, but the Authority is not at a point in the process to be able to estimate when its customer service software will be back online. Once the system becomes operational, the utility will test it to verify business operations are back to normal, at which time the MWA will notify its customers, adds Rojas.

MWA Customer Care phones are still open should customers need to report any service outages, sewer spills, main breaks, or any other type of incident. MWA customers can reach the Authority at 478-464-5600 during normal business hours, at 478-464-5650 after hours, or via the customer service email address at customercare@maconwater.org.

Media contacts:
Tony Rojas, Executive Director and President
P: 478-256-9332
E: tonyr@maconwater.org

Lisa Golphin, Sr. Executive of Strategic Planning
P: 478-227-1981
E: lgolphin@maconwater.org

Chris Wood, Ph.D.
P: 770-757-1681
E: chris@jwapr.com OR john.wood@gcsu.edu

Tagged: mwa, macon water authority, ransomware attack, mwa customer care, mwa customer service software, mwa selfservice customer web portal

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