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Cleveland to reopen City Hall Thursday after ransomware attack

Exterior of Cleveland's City Hall
Tim Harrison
Ideastream Public Media
Officials said people looking to conduct business outside of building and housing, assessments or licenses and vital statistics should call 311 for a status update before coming to City Hall.

The city of Cleveland will resume some services on Thursday beginning at noon after a ransomware attack shuttered City Hall and crippled services for nearly two weeks.

The Building and Housing department, assessments or licenses and vital statistics are among the services that will reopen, according to a city media release. Civil Service examinations and regular meetings are operating normally, the city said.

"For all other business, please call 311 for a status update before coming in," the release states.

The city first announced services would be shuttered on June 10 due to a "cyber event." After a weeklong investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the city confirmed on June 14 that the attack was ransomware, a malware that blocks access to the victim's sensitive data or holds it hostage unless a ransom is paid.

Officials said the city had been working to restore and recover its systems, but remained tight-lipped about details of the threat.

In the release issued Monday, officials stressed that essential city services, "including Public Safety, waste collection, recreation centers, operations at the airport, Cleveland Public Power, Water and Water Pollution Control" had continued to operate normally.

The city offered the following guidance to the public as it tries to resume normal operations.

  • Please be patient: Things may be slow, and we expect lines for service
  • Use online options when possible: Systems that are up and running are safe to use
  • Building & Housing customers are asked to use the Accela portal to upload documents. Please do not bring in hardcopies as we are unable to scan documents at this time. 
Stephanie is the deputy editor of news at Ideastream Public Media.
Abbey Marshall covers Cleveland-area government and politics for Ideastream Public Media.