Long Beach Utilities customers can once again pay their bills, three weeks after the payment system was taken offline because of a cyberattack in mid-November.
The announcement that the payment portal was back up and working was made by Long Beach Utilities Department General Manager Chris Garner who was briefing the City Council Tuesday evening on lower gas rates being charged to customers this winter.
“Today we learned the billing system is back up, and the payment system is back up also,” Garner said after being asked about how late payments would be handled by the department.
The department has advised customers since the system was taken offline on Nov. 15 that there would be no late fees or shutoffs as a result of the inability of customers to pay over the past few weeks. Garner said Tuesday that if anyone runs into trouble because of what happened in the wake of the cyberattack, the department will take care of them.
“We will work with any customer who faces any problems with that,” Garner said.
Last week, the city announced that it believed that the person or persons who breached the city’s network were no longer in the city’s systems, but it also said that some of the city’s data was stolen. It could take weeks or months to determine the scope of the theft and who could be affected, the city said.
Anyone whose personal data was compromised will have to be notified by the city under California law. The city said last week that if anyone’s social security number was exposed they would be provided with credit monitoring services.
The City Council was set to get its first open-session briefing on the cyberattack Tuesday night.