City of Pensacola servers attacked

The city of Pensacola is the target of a cyber attack, which has impacted the city’s communication and technology infrastructure.

“Everything that was here within city hall has been compromised at this particular time,” Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson said Monday morning. “So, we have no communications, internet or phone at this particular time and we’re working through that.”

The mayor said the attack happened late Friday night or early Saturday morning and that the city is still digging into the specifics.

“We are at this point going in two different directions,” Robinson said. “We’re approaching it from a legal standpoint and trying to work forensically that way and figure out who this was and then, two, where do we go from here, putting our system back together.”

The city’s IT department is currently trying to assess the extent of the attack. So far, the attack has been determined to have impacted the city’s email and phone capabilities, as well as the city’s website. The city will also not be able to issue permits electronically (though they will provide handwritten permits) or accept payments for permitting; similarly, Pensacola Energy and the city’s sanitation customers will not be able to pay their bills for the time being.

“We ask for your patience as IT works diligently to restore all services,” the mayor said.

Robinson would not address questions about the attack including a ransom request — “we can’t comment, but we’re working through all those things” — or questions about the prospect of citizens’ personal information on file with the city being compromised.

The mayor also said that it was not known if there was any connection between the cyber attack on the city and the shooting at NAS Pensacola that left four dead earlier that same day. The city, he said, was in contact with the FBI in the wake of the attack.

“At this particular time we don’t know if they’re connected or not,” Robinson said.

While the cyber attack has impacted services available at city hall, other city operations — notably the Pensacola Police Department and the Pensacola International Airport — have not been impacted.

Robinson did not detail how the city was attacked, but he did make mention of something that “went through”: “We certainly have training. We try to remind everyone not to let something in, but apparently somehow it went through.”

At 6:16 p.m. Monday, the city issued the following press release:

The City of Pensacola’s Technology Resources Department is continuing to work diligently to address a cyber attack that occurred early Saturday morning, Dec. 7. As a result of the incident, Technology Resources staff disconnected computers from the city’s network until the issue can be resolved.

The City of Pensacola has remained operational throughout the incident, but some services have been impacted while the network is disconnected, including:
  • City emails
  • Some city landlines
  • 311 customer service (311 can receive calls, but online services are not available)
  • Online bill payments including Pensacola Energy and City of Pensacola Sanitation Services
Emergency dispatch services and 911 were not impacted and continue to operate normally. Additionally, the city’s website at and online permitting services at remain operational.

In light of the shooting Friday at Naval Air Station Pensacola, the City of Pensacola notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security and Florida Department of Law Enforcement about the incident as a precaution.

The city does not yet have an estimate on when services will be fully restored, but Technology Resources staff is working to restore all network servers as soon as possible.
For security reasons, specific information about how the attack occurred will not be released.

As Technology Resources staff continues to assess the situation, the City of Pensacola will provide updates to the public, including any potential impacts to customers.

As of 7:54 a.m. Tuesday, the Facebook page has not been updated.