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Computer bug wreaks havoc on Baker utility department servers

6 months 1 week 6 days ago Thursday, April 04 2019 Apr 4, 2019 April 04, 2019 4:49 PM April 04, 2019 in News
Source: WBRZ

BAKER- Thousands of residents who pay their utility bills with cash in Baker can't do so because the system is infected with a bug.

IT Director Trinard Franklin said the problem was discovered last week after hackers encrypted the information on one of the city's two servers. A fix was installed this week, but it didn't work.

"We thought we had it clean," Franklin said. "We put it back online, it reared its ugly head and went into a dormant phase. On Monday it reinfected and came back. We shut the system back down."

Approximately 6,000 households are serviced with Baker utilities. The city said half of them pay their bills in cash.

"It's ridiculous," Christin Parker said.

The city said no personal information was compromised, and the servers are currently being rebuilt. For customers, late fees are being waived and the city is not disconnecting any utilities until their problem is fixed.

"Those fees are obviously going to be waived," Baker Public Information Officer Cedric Murphy said. "Also any disconnect notices that would be due right now will be waived until the problem is over."

The City of Baker expects to have a fix in place by Monday. Residents paying their bills with checks and money orders can do so using an outdoor kiosk.

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