Ransomware takes down Auburn Food Bank network – but community steps up

Operators replacing servers, purchasing and reinstalling software

Cyber thieves spare no one and nothing in their greed.

Unfortunately, one of the latest victims is the Auburn Food Bank, whose network was ensnared, crippled and toppled by the ransomware virus on June 4.

That means no incoming or outgoing email messages, said Auburn Food Bank Executive Director Debbie Christian.

Without the network, Christian said, the food bank has no way to track its client base and all of the demographics it must have to apply for grants. That means, it has no information to create reports for the grant work that requires quarterly or yearly reporting. Such grants also ask the food bank to upload its budgets, its last audit, some of its policies and its 501-C-3 status.

“There is nothing left in our computers that we could use, there is no email program. All our history is gone,” Christian said.

But as Auburnites have shown time and again, they are not accustomed to letting such a wrong stand. On this occasion, said Christian, the community began to ride to the rescue 20 seconds after word got out.

“A benefactor just started our ‘computer rebuild fund with a very large check,” Christian reported in a message from her private email to the city on June 7. “Seven people – and the mayor’s office – so far, have come in to get forms to help us retype everything. “

That being said, it will take time to get things back to normal.

“We just talked to Kent Youth and Family, who got hit a few months back and were told they are still trying to work out of it,” Christian told the Auburn Reporter. “We are replacing our servers and all our software has to be purchased and reinstalled and then configuring our computers to run through the servers. It’s a mess.

“… I’m so grateful to those who have come in to get forms and documents from us that they are taking home and typing and bringing back to us to save to our computers. They are saving us a lot of time. … I say it over and over and over – Auburn is the most amazing town.”

If you receive an email from the food bank, Christian cautioned, keep it but don’t open it because it will have to be tested.

More in News

Auburn School District School Safety Summit is today

The public is invited to the Auburn School District School Safety Summit… Continue reading

Kiwanians present inaugural 5K Purple Sock Walk/Run on Oct. 26

The Kiwanis Club of the Valley, Auburn, presents the inaugural 5K Purple… Continue reading

Wilson invites constituents to 30th District coffee hour on Oct. 21

Sen. Claire Wilson, D-Auburn, hosts a Constituent Coffee Hour from 5:30 to… Continue reading

Entenman to host coffee, conversation Oct. 19 in downtown Kent

State representative to be at Cafe on Fourth

Utility work to affect West Valley Highway N | UPDATES

On Wednesday, Oct. 16, and Thursday, Oct. 17, utility work by Cannon… Continue reading

King County is considering ways to increase both the supply of and demand for compost to help divert organic material from the landfill. File photo
King County wants to boost composting market

In 2018, around one-third of material sent to regional landfill could have been composted.

Bellevue is the most expensive place in the region to rent an apartment, according to a new analysis. Courtesy photo
King County cities are among most expensive to rent in Northwest

Bellevue has highest apartment rents; Renton, Kent and Federal Way all saw increases in 2019.

Rep. Kim Schrier. REPORTER FILE PHOTO
Rep. Schrier hosts Public Health-Seattle and King County Health officer at D.C. Panel on VACCINES Act

Congresswoman Kim Schrier, D-Wash., Eighth District, on Wednesday hosted a congressional panel… Continue reading

Appraisers conducting physical inspection of properties in Algona/Pacific

King County appraisers have begun the annual process of visiting neighborhoods to… Continue reading

Most Read