Covington Weekly » March 15, 2021

Daily Archives: March 15, 2021

City Updates Local News

City of Covington Cyber Attack Update

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The following are updates from the City of Covington Facebook page about the recent cyber attack on the city’s server. Sign up to receive updates from the city at www.covla.com

Monday March 15, 2021

The Louisiana National Guard Cyber Restoration Unit worked continuously over the weekend with City Information Technology (IT) personnel. There remains no timeline for system functionality. I am pleased to report that one member of the Guard shared that the City of Covington IT team is “one of top three we have ever worked with.” That’s nice … congratulations to IT Director Quenton Belanger, Police Chief Deputy Trey Mahon and IT-Man Aaron Hebert.

Police, Fire, Public Works, Cultural Arts and Events, Parks and Recreation and Facilities are all fully deployed and operational. Utility Billing and Finance (computer-based functions) remain severely hampered.

Continue to use 911 for all emergencies. Text CPDLA, space, then your message to 847411 for police non-emergencies. In a practical sense, this has permanently replaced calling 892-8500.

Last week’s hack was one of perhaps 30,000 that occurred. More details are available at CBS News Report “Microsoft Hack” https://www.cbsnews.com/…/microsoft-exchange-server…/

Importance of Two-Factor Authentication: Lately we see more and more businesses asking us (as individuals) for two-factor authentication i.e. “text a code to your phone.” Regardless of this particular breach of security, one may now presume the bad guys have your personal information. It is just a matter of time before they make a play on your assets. The two-factor authentication is an important way to prevent them from using your information. -MMJ

March 12, 2021

Yesterday morning around 7:00am we discovered a significant hack into the City of Covington’s computer systems. All systems were locked down including Police, Fire, Public Works, Utility Billing and Finance.

By 11:00am yesterday the State Cyber Security Alliance was on site investigating and securing our systems. The Alliance consists of experts from the State Department of Homeland Security, LA State Police Department and New Orleans Field Office of the Secret Service. They were at City Hall in less than 240 minutes. Pretty impressive.

This morning members of the LA National Guard Cyber Restoration Team began arriving. They are working to get the City back up and running.

The Team’s priorities are first responders, utility billing and then key administrative functions.Regarding retrieval of information, we are currently in the process of diagnostics. We cannot offer an opinion on what was taken or is recoverable until we have a proper diagnosis.

At this point we can speculate it will be a week or so before we have basic operational functions.

The cyber security team has shared we are one victim of tens of thousands in America in this current wave of breaches … the bad guys found a vulnerability in a Microsoft program. – MMJ

Sign up for updates from the City of Covington www.covla.com or follow them on Facebook.

Quote & Word of the Week Word of the Week

Word of the Week

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circumlocution

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1 : the use of an unnecessarily large number of words to express an idea
2 : evasion in speech

Did You Know?

In The King’s English, grammarian H. W. Fowler advised, “Prefer the single word to the circumlocution.” Alas, that good advice was not followed by the framers of circumlocution. They actually used two terms in forming that word for unnecessarily verbose prose or speech. But their choices were apt; circumlocution derives from the Latin circum-, meaning “around,” and locutio, meaning “speech”—so it literally means “roundabout speech.” Since at least the early 16th century, English writers have used circumlocution with disdain, naming a thing to stop, or better yet, to avoid altogether. Charles Dickens even used it to satirize political runarounds in the 1857 novel Little Dorrit with the creation of the fictional Circumlocution Office, a government department that delayed the dissemination of information and just about everything else. From www.merriam-webster.com

Quote & Word of the Week Quote of the Week

Quote of the Week

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“If you want your children to listen, try talking softly to someone else.” – Ann Landers

Ann Landers was a pen name created by Chicago Sun-Times advice columnist Ruth Crowley in 1943 and taken over by Esther Pauline “Eppie” Lederer (July 4, 1918 – June 22, 2002) in 1955. For 56 years, the Ask Ann Landers syndicated advice column was a regular feature in many newspapers across North America. Owing to this popularity, “Ann Landers”, though fictional, became something of a national institution and cultural icon.

The creator of the “Ann Landers” pseudonym was Ruth Crowley, a Chicago nurse who had been writing a child-care column for the Sun since 1941. She chose the pseudonym at random—borrowing the surname ‘Landers’ from a family friend—to prevent confusion between her two columns. Unlike her eventual successor Esther Lederer, Crowley kept her identity as Landers secret, even enjoining her children to help her keep it quiet. Crowley took a three-year break from writing the column from 1948 until 1951. After 1951, she continued the column for the Chicago Sun-Times and in syndication (since 1951) to 26 other newspapers until her death, aged 48, on July 20, 1955. Crowley spent a total of nine years writing advice as “Ann Landers”. She also was featured on the 1953-1955 DuMont Television Network series All About Baby. From en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ask_Ann_Landers

Non Profit Spotlight

YSB Crossroads & The Louisiana Bar Foundation: Tackling Juvenile Delinquency Together

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From the Youth Service Bureau:

Helping non-violent juvenile offenders turn their lives around is one of Youth Service Bureau’s main missions. YSB carries out this important work through Crossroads, our juvenile delinquency intervention program.

YSB Crossroads helps youth restore their relationship with the community through restitution to victims, community service, anger management counseling, Internet safety education, parenting education for their parents or legal guardians and – thanks to the Louisana Bar Foundation – Law Related Education.

Supported by a generous grant from the Louisiana Bar Foundation, Law Related Education puts juvenile offenders on a more positive track through better understanding of the law, legal system, and consequences of crime. Aimed at 10- to 16-year-olds who have committed non-violent offenses such as shoplifting, vandalism and others, these classes help juvenile offenders take responsibility for their actions and make better decisions.

Law Related Education incorporates classroom lectures, role-playing and testing. Juvenile offenders learn the legal definitions and potential sentences associated with assault, battery, vandalism, burglary, robbery, theft, drug possession, cyberbullying, cyberstalking and other offenses. Louisiana Bar Foundation funding enables YSB Crossroads to staff and administer the program and work closely with clients to improve their outcomes. YSB Crossroads is fortunate to have local attorneys teaching our Law Related Education classes – Shannon Christian (at our Slidell location) and Veronica Kittok (Covington location).

An eye-opening segment of the course is “No Kinda Life,” a video filmed at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola and the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women in St. Gabriel. “No Kinda Life” presents an unflinching picture of prison life, with inmates explaining how they became incarcerated and losses they suffered due to poor choices, including drug and alcohol use. The video is a powerful springboard for meaningful class discussion and group participation.

Together, the Louisiana Bar Foundation and YSB Crossroads are changing lives.

In the last fiscal year:

  • 97.7% of YSB Crossroads clients completed their community service
  • 96% successfully completed the YSB Crossroads program
  • 99.5% of those completing the program had not re-offended six months later

YSB Crossroads is deeply grateful to the Louisiana Bar Foundation for making this life-changing resource available to our community. The Louisiana Bar Foundation exists to preserve, honor, and improve our system of justice. YSB is humbled and excited to be a partner in that vital mission.

Visit Youth Service Bureau to find out more about what we do!

Click here to learn more about the Louisiana Bar Foundation.

Parish News

Parish President Mike Cooper Reflects on the One-Year Anniversary of COVID-19 Impacting St. Tammany

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From St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper:

“One year ago, St. Tammany, like much of the rest of the world, was faced with the reality of COVID-19. We came together as community and faced the uncertainty of a novel virus, loss of lives to this disease, and sacrifices we all had to make in order to protect the most vulnerable among us, as well as our frontline healthcare professionals. We did this to balance the health of our community with the health of our economy,” said Mike Cooper, St. Tammany Parish President.

President Cooper went on to say, “I am thankful and proud of the way we worked together and I am proud of where we now stand. Let’s continue to move forward by making individual choices to protect one another, and by utilizing the vaccine to protect ourselves as we mourn the lives of those we lost to this disease, celebrate those who have recovered, and thank the people who lovingly cared for them all.”

Watch the March 13, 2020 Press Conference