AUGUSTA, Ga. - FOX54 is exclusively reporting that the FBI is aware of the cyber attack on the city of Augusta and is investigating.

We are continuing to press for answers from the city's government about the attack. Mayor Garnett Johnson and commissioners have not spoken about the issue since Tuesday's press conference. After that press conference, FOX54 took a look into several city departments and found they had other processes in place to help keep things running smoothly.

However, on Wednesday, FOX54 asked to come inside some city facilities, such as Animal Services and the 9-1-1 Center, to get a first-hand look at how they were adapting. That request was denied.

FOX54 has, however, been able to confirm that the FBI is investigating the attack. We're told by inside sources that FBI cyber agents are assisting the City of Augusta and met with city leaders Tuesday.

Cyber attacks, according to the National Information Technology Laboratory, involve a targeted and malicious effort to disrupt, disable, destroy, or control computer infrastructure or steal controlled data.

While officials have not confirmed that this attack is a ransomware attack, a demand for money is not at all uncommon in many types of cyber attacks. In fact, the City of Atlanta fell victim to that type of attack in 2018, costing the city millions of dollars in recovery expenses. More recently, smaller municipalities have been targeted by ransomware attacks, including Columbus, Georgia in 2020. That city is comparable in size and makeup to Augusta. Its IT department was able to quickly stop the attack and recover critical data because of a preventative measure already in place.

You may recall a recent vote by the Augusta Commission to audit the city's operational procedures. And, in an investigation carried out by FOX54, we discovered that former commissioners were able to still access their government email accounts after their terms ended.

FOX54 is continuing to follow this story and we are, as always, committed to giving you everything you need to know, about the breach and what it means for your privacy and the functionality of your local government.

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