Some Sebastopol Police Department computers restored, incident still being investigated

By Camille Escovedo, Staff Writer, SoCoNews, August 4, 2021

police cars

Most of the Sebastopol Police Department’s (SPD) computer systems have been restored since the July 11 “compromise” that’s still under investigation, according to Sebastopol Police Chief Kevin Kilgore. Law enforcement will wait until the investigation’s end to determine whether the incident amounts to a cyberattack, he said.

In a July 30 interview, Kilgore said he could not provide more specifics on the computers yet to be restored, nor how the compromise may have happened yet, “but we are back, operational and we’re moving along.”

“We’re still in the process of the investigation, which has components that need to be looked at in our systems,” he said. The computers that are working will be back in commission for SPD’s report-writing system, computer-aided dispatching system and different law enforcement database systems.

When the computers went down, dispatchers had to log onto paper the calls they still received on recorded lines. Dispatchers have returned to their computer-aided dispatching system and all records are up to date now, he said.

“Everything was still operating as usual, except for instead of putting a call for service into the computer system that we utilize, the dispatchers were taking that information and logging it onto a piece of paper that was then transferred back into the computer systems once the computer systems were up,” Kilgore said.

Because the process has been “ongoing,” the police chief said he did not have a date for when the computers went back up or a number for how many are online again.

The focus narrows to finding out how the department’s computer system became compromised in the first place. Kilgore said he didn’t know how long that would take other than SPD is currently making headway with law enforcement and cyber insurance partners, though he could not share who all is involved in the investigation.

“We’re still working with our insurance partners as far as this investigation goes and the costs that are involved with that investigation as well,” he said, adding again that SPD’s compromised computer system is believed to be unrelated to the $1.2 million wire transfer theft the city experienced recently.

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