Governor: Minnesota hit by cyberattack as efforts to contain protests ramped up

Governor: Minnesota hit by cyberattack as efforts to contain protests ramped up
© Stefani Reynolds

Minnesota Gov. Tim WalzTimothy (Tim) James WalzMinnesota lawmakers blast pharmaceutical industry lawsuit over insulin affordability law Judge in George Floyd case tells attorneys, officials, family to limit public statements Internal watchdog investigating if Air Force improperly used plane to surveil protests: report MORE (D) said state computers were the target of a cyber attack Saturday, the fourth night of demonstrations after the death of George Floyd.

"Before our operation kicked off last night, a very sophisticated denial of service attack on all state computers was executed," Walz said Sunday morning during a news briefing, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "That's not somebody sitting in their basement.”

Walz also doubled down on his claim that much of the unrest was fomented by people from out of state, saying “there are outside folks in there.”

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Walz, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter (D) and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) all made a similar claim earlier this week, but State Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said only about 20 percent of the up to 100 arrests overnight were from out of state. Officials had claimed 80 percent of the previous night’s detainees were from out of state but have walked the figure back, if not the general claim.

Floyd, an unarmed black man, was pinned face-down on the pavement Monday for several minutes by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin despite protesting that he was unable to breathe. Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, while three other officers who were present have been fired but not charged.

Frey said the city experienced no “significant fires” Saturday night, while Walz praised the lack of major injuries but apologized for the arrest of a WCCO reporter covering the demonstrations, claiming it happened “inadvertently.”

Walz said he took responsibility for any misconduct by police after footage went viral of police or soldiers in south Minneapolis apparently targeting residents on their front porches with marking rounds while ordering them inside.