December 7, 2021

BPL hit by cyber attack, shutting down most of its computer network

Boston Public Library branch staff are using pen and paper to browse books in the wake of a cybersecurity attack that largely shut down the BPL’s computer network, the agency said on Friday.

“We are currently handling all transactions manually at all locations,” BPL spokesperson Natsha Fee wrote in an email.

The computer network was attacked on Wednesday and the system used to perform electronic book verification, among other tasks, and most of its capacity remains offline, the BPL said on Friday. The libraries themselves remain open and some online services continue to operate, the agency said.

But most of the network is down and no date has been set for the restart by the city’s IT department.

“Until then, all locations will remain open, customers will still be able to consult the books and some online services will remain operational. This is an ongoing situation and the library will inform clients and staff of services and impacts on its website, ”BPL said in a statement.

So far, no evidence has emerged that the personal information of customers or employees has been compromised. “There is currently no evidence that sensitive employee or customer data has been disclosed,” the library said.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this outage may have caused to customers,” Kurt Mansperger, BPL’s chief technology officer, said in a statement. “Thank you for your patience as our team and law enforcement work to restore our digital services and protect the library from future attacks. “


John R. Ellement can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on twitter @JREbosglobe.



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