PITTSBURGH — The city of Washington’s entire communications system was shut down by a malware attack last week. Now, 11 Investigates uncovered nearly half a dozen local police departments that are dealing with a separate hack involving their records.
Whitehall and Munhall police operate independently in just about every way imaginable. But those departments, along with at least three others, are dealing with the same problem: a malware attack on their records systems.
The systems are managed by the software company Tulip Systems in Pleasant Hills. Sources confirmed to Channel 11 they were hacked last week.
In a phone interview with Channel 11 Monday, the company’s owner said police are investigating the incident. The FBI would not comment on their involvement.
11 Investigates confirmed Monday that Munhall, Whitehall, West Mifflin, Pleasant Hills and South Park all use Tulip Systems for their records management. While dealing with email issues last week, all the departments and boroughs Channel 11 spoke with said they do not believe any data or records were compromised.
“They always say there are two types of organizations: those that have been hacked and those who don't know they've been hacked,” Mary Onufer, a cybersecurity professor at Carlow University, said Monday.
She said local government agencies and the businesses they are connected to are being targeted by hackers, making security both difficult and critical.
“It's much harder to hack into a system and it's easier to hack the human. So people really have to prepare the people that work for them,” Onufer said.
Sources told 11 Investigates the hack into Tulip Systems is not related to the issues with the city of Washington. But source told 11 Investigates that the FBI is heavily involved in both investigations.
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