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New Cybersecurity Committee, Established by Council President Brandon Scott, to Start Investigation into Ransomware Attack This Week

New Cybersecurity Committee, Established by Council President Brandon Scott, to Start Investigation into Ransomware Attack This Week

Inaugural Meeting of the Cybersecurity and Emergency Preparedness Committee Wednesday Evening at City Hall


BALTIMORE, MD (November 4, 2019) — A new City Council committee focused on cybersecurity and emergency preparedness will hold its inaugural meeting this week on Wednesday, November 6 at 5pm in the “Du” Burns Council Chambers at City Hall, 100 Holliday Street. 

Over the past month, the co-chairs met with cybersecurity and information technology professionals to determine the scope of issues the committee will investigate. Many of those interviewed reached out to offer their expertise during the City’s months-long recovery effort after the ransomware attack. 

In June, Baltimore City Council President Brandon M. Scott established the Cybersecurity and Emergency Preparedness Committee after Baltimore fell victim to a ransomware attack. The attack, which hit the City in May, compromised government computer systems and illuminated vulnerabilities in the City’s security, backup, and information technology practices.

“A modern city needs a modern technology infrastructure,” said Council President Scott. “I’ve asked the committee chairs to conduct a comprehensive review of the vulnerabilities and response that allowed the ransomware attack to have such a devastating impact our city. Over the next year, the committee will make recommendations on policies, practices, and technology we need to have an IT infrastructure with integrity.” 

The committee is comprised of three members: Councilman Eric Costello (District 11) and Councilman Isaac “Yitzy” Schleifer (District 5), who co-chair the committee, and Council Vice President Sharon Green Middleton (District 6).

The focus of the committee’s first hearing is “Cyberattacks: Awareness, Prevention and Mitigation.” The committee will ask questions about the current status of the city’s IT infrastructure and the May ransomware attack. Representatives from the Baltimore City Office of Information and Technology, the Office of Emergency Management, and the Mayor's Office will be in attendance.

“Once we get the facts about what went wrong and a clear timeline of events, we can develop recommendations for the administration to implement,” said Councilman Schleifer, who is a co-chair of the committee. “I’m thankful for the professionals who showed a willingness to help Baltimore move forward at a critical moment.”

“As we work to refine the scope of this committee, I’m very grateful for the experts in the community who offered their expertise,” said Councilman Costello, who also co-chairs the committee. “We’re looking forward to working with the administration to reduce the likelihood and impact of subsequent attacks on the City.”

The hearing is open to the public and will be broadcast on CharmTV (Channel 25). The public is encouraged to attend the hearing, deliver testimony, and share additional ideas with the committee co-chairs. Subsequent hearings will cover topics ranging from cybersecurity training, backup plans and testing, and the creation of a tech advisory council. 

Council President Scott committed to activate the new Cybersecurity and Emergency Preparedness Committee as part of his 26-point Legislative and Policy Agenda. Members of the public can follow the progress of this committee and other initiatives outlined in that agenda using the Council President’s Legislative and Policy Tracker.





Candance Greene
Deputy Director of Communications
Office of City Council President Nick J. Mosby

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