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City of Oshkosh computer system hit by virus

Laptop computer keyboard, Photo Date: Undated / PXHERE / MGN
Laptop computer keyboard, Photo Date: Undated / PXHERE / MGN
Published: Jan. 28, 2020 at 1:26 PM CST
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The City of Oshkosh has been hit by a computer virus that's impacting website, email and some phone lines.

On Tuesday morning, it was discovered that the city's internal computer systems had been hit by the virus.

"The analogy that I use with our computer folks is that all it takes is one cracked window for a virus to enter the whole building and that's what happened. Somebody opened something and it just infected and shut down our system," said Oshkosh City Manager Mark Rohloff.

The city says 911 and non-emergency lines are working.

All city services will continue without interruption, although on late Tuesday afternoon, city officials said the Common Council meeting won't be broadcast or streamed live on cable, radio or online, but it will be recorded and available to view on the city's media YouTube channel after the meeting ends.

In addition, the city is asking anyone who wants to pay their tax bill this week to do so at the following locations due to workers not having access to records, balances and accounts at this time:

Associated Bank - located at 10 W. Murdock Avenue and 444 N. Sawyer St.

Community First Credit Union - 2424 Westowne Avenue and 1492 W. South Park Avenue

Send payments to City Hall at P.O. Box 1128, Oshkosh, WI 54903

City officials say information tied to payroll and billing hasn't been compromised and no personal credit card information is stored in its systems.

However the city website, all email, access to tax records, and online bill pay have been shut down.

So are the mobile data terminals used by both the police and fire departments.

Rohloff added, "The county sheriff's department has been wonderful working with us to help them through that because it's the old fashioned just radio and they get information through the radio rather than right at the terminals. So we're learning to appreciate the technology that we have, but we know we have to be more careful with it."

The interruption is expected to last at least thru Wednesday.

"The City is working to investigate the cause of the incident. Staff is also working on data recovery," reads a statement from Emily Springstroh, Communications Coordinator.

If you need to contact police, fire or city hall, here are the main numbers:

OPD Non-Emergency: (920) 236-5700

OFD Non-Emergency: (920) 236 5240

City Hall Main Line: (920) 236-5000

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