New Bedford still dealing with virus in computer system

SE Mass

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — About a week after they were first discovered, the city of New Bedford is still having issues with its computer system but not releasing many details about the problem.

According to city spokesperson Jonathan Carvalho, the city’s IT staff realized over the holiday weekend that a computer virus disrupted services. He says since then, some tasks normally done on the computer at City Hall have instead been done by hand.

“It’s just a big mystery right now,” Ward 3 City Councilor Hugh Dunn said.

To date, the city has not released much information about what happened or what’s going on so earlier this week, Dunn sent a letter to Mayor Jon Mitchell seeking answers.

“There needs to be more transparency,” Dunn said.

PDF: Read Dunn’s full letter »

In a statement about the problem, Carvalho wrote: “The public is unlikely to notice any negative impacts related to the disruption. The IT staff is unaware of any evidence of unauthorized access to identifiable personal data.”

Dunn says the fire department’s email is not working while Carvalho claims emergency services including the city’s 911 system are working as normal.

When asked about the cause of the virus and a response to Dunn’s letter, Eyewitness News was referred back to the city’s statement.

“Based on the advice of IT security professionals, the City is refraining from providing information related to specific impacts at this time,” Carvalho wrote. “At an appropriate time in the future, we hope to provide more information.”

“My sense is that there’s something wrong, when we’re not getting answers for a week there’s something wrong,” Dunn said.

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