Former city worker speaks out after personal data exposed in Oakland ransomware attack

The Oakland ransomware attack involves personal data of current and former employees going back to 2010, according to city officials.

An ex-worker whose information was exposed spoke out Thursday, calling the situation a "disaster."

David Cruise, is himself a former state disaster official, and he also served as Oakland's public safety systems advisor.

"This morning, I woke up to a credit card alert saying my information was leaked onto the dark web," Cruise said. "My social security number. My date of birth. My name. My home address."

Cruise says he's one of the victims whose personal information was compromised in the Oakland ransomware attack that was first detected a month ago.

The city now says current and former workers, going back to 2010, had their personal information stolen.


Oakland mayor hopes ransomware attack is fixed in 2 weeks

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao hopes the city's ransomware attack will be resolved in about two weeks.

"We're all scrambling right now to go to the different credit bureaus to put security freezes on our accounts, put fraud alerts on our accounts," Cruise said.

Cruise was Oakland's public safety systems advisor from 2012 to 2015, overseeing police radio systems and technology. He also has worked for the California Office of Emergency Services, handling disasters. 

The irony that he's now a victim isn't lost on him.

"This is a massive, massive disaster," Cruise said.

Oakland City Councilman Noel Gallo said Thursday that the city is still negotiating with the hackers.

"I'm shocked by what I'm hearing on a daily basis," Gallo said. "It's really alarming. It's a new day. I've never been through an experience like this with government."

Boston College cyber expert Kevin Powers said, "So they have a treasure trove of information on the employees and probably citizens as well."

Powers said Oakland is likely digging in its heels with the hackers.

"Definitely the unwillingness to pay, and I think that's a smart move by the City of Oakland, because you're dealing with criminals. So the fact that they're releasing information now, doesn't mean they weren't going to do it anyway," said Powers.

Cruise is hoping for the best.

"Now that it's out there, it's out there. That's the thing. Criminals are going to be using this for the next 20 years," he said.