Cops, Courts and Fire Government

Bucks County Identifies Gang That Has Taken Down CAD System

Bucks County’s computer-aided dispatch system was crippled by a ransomware attack attributed to the Akira gang.

The Bucks County 9-1-1 Center. File photo.
Credit: Tom Sofield/

Bucks County officials have identified the ransomware gang behind the attack that has crippled the countywide computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system.

In a statement, county officials said they have informed “local, state and federal partners that the ransomware ‘Akira’ is involved so that they can have situational awareness and review their own systems. ”

Akira, according to various news reports from around the globe, is a cyberattack gang that has hit governments and businesses. The gang can charge millions to release captured data.

The county said in a weekend statement that it “continues to investigate the cybersecurity incident.”

Sources have said federal law enforcement has been investigating the attack. The FBI and Bucks County District Attorney’s Office declined to comment.

“The county continues to work closely with third-party experts to conduct a thorough investigation,” Bucks County officials said in a statement.

Officials have not commented on how much the ransom request was, whether the county is talking with the attackers, if the county has considered paying the ransom, or what will happen to the captured information, which includes sensitive data handled by emergency crews.

While the 9-1-1 system remains operational, the CAD system used by local law enforcement, firefighters, and ambulance squads continued to be out of service as of Saturday afternoon.

The cyberattack kicked off with the outage that started last Sunday.

The outage has led to responders across Bucks County going back to pen and paper and other inconveniences. Call-takers and dispatchers have been using pen and paper and spreadsheets to handle calls.

There have been some frustrations and slowdowns in responses with the CAD system being down, police and fire officials have said.

The Pennsylvania National Guard has been among the state and federal agencies assisting the county.

About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for 12 years for both newspaper and online publications. Tom’s reporting has appeared locally, nationally, and internationally across several mediums. He is proud to report on news in the county where he lives and to have created a reliable publication that the community deserves.

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