NAPERVILLE – After being taken down by a hacker more than three weeks ago, Naperville’s municipal website is expected to be completely functional again today.
“The website should be up later this week,” most likely sometime Friday, City Manager Doug Krieger confirmed Wednesday. “It will probably be at about 95 percent.”
While almost all of the website and its functions will return to normal, “we will not have external email up at that time,” which means city employees and departments will be unable to send or receive email messages, Krieger said. He asked that residents, business owners and others continue communicating with the city via its temporary site, firstname.lastname@example.org.
City Council members earlier this month approved spending $673,000 to bring the system fully back online and protect it from further attack. They hired N-Dimensions, a Canadian computer consulting firm, to do that work.
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N-Dimensions employees “basically dealt with the initial isolation of the (hacking) event and assisted with network design, focusing on the security aspects,” Krieger said. “They did the initial forensics” and hired a subcontracting firm that “helped with the initial triage.”
Krieger earlier this month said he was not certain whether the website would be controlled on actual city hardware or in a location on the Internet or “cloud.”
“We have shifted from hosting the website ourselves,” Krieger said Wednesday. “We moved it out to the cloud, got access to it” and have people checking its various pages and links, he said.
“It looks very good.”
FBI agents are continuing their investigation into the Oct. 2 security breach. Krieger would say only “we’ll know more next week” about the progress of that probe.
The N-Dimensions expenditure included $395,000 for firewalls, servers and hacker detection software; $221,000 for consulting fees for network intrusion analysis; and $57,000 for a consultant for network restoration. Included in the consulting figure was $92,000 already paid to N-Dimensions for services provided in the days immediately after the attack.
City officials have said they believe an insurance policy will cover a sizable part of those expenses.
Krieger added the hacking did no permanent damage to municipal property, and no personal information of city employees or residents was compromised.
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