MACON, Ga. — The Macon Water Authority says they were hit by a ransomware attack. The authority says customers and staff don't have access to the customer service software and self-service portal to pay bills online.
Gordon Smith is one of many customers who had to visit the Macon Water Authority downtown for assistance.
"Sure, it's an inconvenience because it's not the norm -- you know, the quick way we are used to doing things, but like I say, these things happen," said Smith.
Macon Water Authority President Tony Rojas says staff discovered the cyber attack when they couldn't access some files on Sunday, October 27.
"We identified the virus. That took some time. Then you get your tool kits to wipe it out and clean it up, but it's meticulously slow. You have to be very methodical," said Rojas.
Rojas says the authority won't apply any late fees and there won't be any service disconnections. A press release form the authority say they won't report delinquent accounts to credit bureaus during this time.
People can't pay their bill with a credit card but they can pay with cash or check at the office on Second Street.
"The most important thing is that our customers are receiving quality reliable water and sewer service, and that's our essential mission," said Rojas.
The authority says there is no evidence that customers' personal and financial information was compromised. They are working with cyber security consultants, IT, and the FBI to fix the problem.
"I'm hoping that they will get this done, fixed in a about a month's time," said Smith.
But there is a possibility is could take longer.
"Yes, it's taking time, but we are making progress, so we're positive at this point," said Rojas.
Rojas says the authority doesn't know when the system will be back up.
The authority says when they get the system back up, they will test it, and give customers plenty of time to get their bills paid.
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