Hack attack forces Modesto Police off computers, back onto radio, report says.

Modesto Police officers are temporarily ditching computers for radios, pen, and paper while patrolling the city.

An attack on City of Modesto computer systems has left the Modesto Police Department embracing “old school policing” techniques to manage calls for service and transporting of criminals for a number of days.

Officers, who were usually equipped with mounted computers to access information, are now relying


Driving the news: Anonymous sources told McClatchy that police interceptor computers were no longer being utilized over an alleged ransomware attack.

  • Now, 9-1-1 dispatchers are relaying call details to officers on patrol via radio – once the dominant practice that has since been abandoned – rather than via secure computer systems.
  • The move has left police officers an their activities unusually exposed, with individuals able to tune into police scanners to hear near play-by-play of Modesto Police officers transporting arrestees to Stanislaus County Jail or transitioning from one call to the next.

What they’re saying: Modesto city officials haven’t publicly confirmed the existence of a hack or its impact on Modesto Police, but have indicated that they detected “suspicious activity” within its networks .

  • The city is “experiencing limited connectivity to some systems. Our ability to facilitate city services including emergency service and answer 911 calls is fully operational,” city officials said in a statement to the paper.
  • “Upon learning of this suspicious activity, we strategically disconnected portions of our network out of an abundance of caution. We have also initiated an investigation with leading cyber security experts.”
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