Mat-Su Borough eying $1.3 million balance after insurance payout for 2018 cyber attack

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The Mat-Su Borough Assembly is looking to appropriate $1 million of cyber insurance to begin reimbursing the borough for costs associated with a 2018 cyber security attack that took their network offline.

The borough is still recovering from the cyber attack, and to date has incurred over $2.3 million in costs associated with it. Those costs include increased investment in cyber security to mitigate risk of future attacks, and rebuilding network infrastructure.

The borough’s cyber insurance policy with AXIS Insurance covers the first $1 million, leaving a $1.3 million balance to be made up by the borough. After being denied state emergency disaster assistance, the borough is holding out for federal assistance to offset the balance, which could otherwise fall to taxpayers.

Assemblyman Jim Sykes says the borough has a good track record of covering these expenses so taxpayers don’t have to.

“I think that they will want us to recover as much as we can through insurance,” Sykes said, referring to Mat-Su residents testifying at the meeting Tuesday. “I believe we have also asked for emergency funds when the disaster hit from the federal government. I don’t think we have a determination on that. We are going to try and get as much as we can so it’s not a burden on the taxpayers.”

The assembly must approve an ordinance to accept and appropriate the cyber insurance funds, but it will not vote on that ordinance until Mat-Su residents weigh in.