PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The vendor that manages the city’s scheduling of police and firefighters has been hacked, forcing public safety officials to scramble to ensure all shifts are filled.
Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré said the scheduling system – called Telestaff – went offline over the weekend.
“Telestaff was hacked across the world,” Paré said. “We have to go back to old school and use paper and pen to make sure that we have the appropriate staffing levels.”
Department brass was forced to call officers individually to find out when they were working next. Normally officers log into the Telestaff system from a computer or an app on their phone to see their schedule or make changes.
In an email, a spokesperson for UKG, the company that runs the Telestaff platform, said, “UKG recently became aware of a ransomware incident that has disrupted the Kronos Private Cloud, which houses solutions used by a limited number of our customers. We took immediate action to investigate and mitigate the issue, have alerted our affected customers and informed the authorities, and are working with leading cybersecurity experts.”
“We recognize the seriousness of the issue and have mobilized all available resources to support our customers and are working diligently to restore the affected services,” the email said.
In June, the city’s email and other computer systems went down for several days because of an unknown “network issue.”
Paré said unlike the June incident, this was an attack on a vendor and not a city-run network. He said there is no indication yet that any personal information was compromised in the Telestaff hack.