HAYWARD, Calif. (KGO) -- The Hayward City Council approved a local emergency at a brief meeting Thursday night. The declaration comes just days after the city was hit by a ransomware attack.
"What it does is it allows our executive functions to work more efficiently to be able to direct staffing to acquire expertise, equipment faster than we normally can," said city spokesperson, Chuck Finnie.
The cyber attack attempted to disrupt and hold hostage parts of the city's networks and computer systems.
However, city officials say as far as they know no employees' nor residents' data has been compromised.
"We are still responding to 911 dispatch calls, we're deploying police officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, our water system is running, our sewer system is running," Finnie said.
The incident comes just months after Oakland suffered a similar cyber attack. Experts say they're becoming increasingly common.
"These are criminal gangs, most of them in hostile nations in Eastern Europe like Russia," said Sai Huda.
Huda runs a cybersecurity company. He says given the increased frequency of these attacks, local governments have to be prepared.
"If you simulate that and do a drill, then you're going to be finding gaps and weaknesses and fix them before the actual thing might happen," Huda said.
While the city continues to work on restoring all of its systems, it's urging the public not to panic.
Saying they're taking every step to ensure this doesn't happen again.
"There's no security system that is completely invulnerable to penetration like this. We received notice of this within hours of the event and were able to lock it down," Finnie said.
City officials say there's no timeframe of when the declaration might end.
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