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Official: York City IT network will be online Friday, two months after attack

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
York City Hall in York City, Friday, March 23, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Most of the York City's technological infrastructure is expected to be back online Friday, two months after a man allegedly broke into City Hall and damaged its IT servers, said Philip Given, the mayor's chief of staff.

The restoration of services affected by the damage was anticipated to be a gradual process, which proved to be the case. But on Friday, city hall's wireless internet, active server files, printers, scanners and accounting platform  will be back online, Given said.

"The largest and most difficult target remains our phone lines. At this point, we are in the process of switching our providers to a company that will better suit our needs and restore our lines as quickly as possible," Given said.

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On Aug. 5, Kevin Isaiah Waller, a 24-year-old Philadelphia man, allegedly broke in using a fire extinguisher and caused about $350,000 in damage to equipment in the information technology department, police say.

The damage estimate is now nearing $500,000 to not only replace equipment, but also to pay for contractors to install it, Given said.

The damage to the IT servers completely downed city phone lines, hampered access to some services on the city's website and limited access to computer files.

However, "our backup was successful,"  Given said, and there will be limited, if any, lost data when the new system is up and running.

Damage at York City Hall.

Officials aim to have the city's main phone lines restored by Oct. 16, with complete restoration of phone lines by the end of the month, .

City offices will continue to operate by appointment only, measures already in place due to mitigation efforts amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

As for the treasurer's office, now that the accounting system is back online, the city is focusing on two months' worth of backlogged transactions before the office can open its doors to customers.

Before allegedly breaking into City Hall, Waller trespassed in a Manchester home and burglarized another in York City, police allege.

The charges against Waller include burglary and criminal trespassing, both second-degree felonies, and criminal mischief, a third-degree felony, in connection with the city hall break-in,  police say.

Waller is scheduled to be formally arraigned in front of Common Pleas Judge Gregory M. Snyder on Wednesday, Oct. 14.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.