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St. Louis Public Library hacked; computers and checkouts affected

St. Louis Public Library
File photo | Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio
The headquarters building of the St. Louis Public Library is undergoing a $70 million restoration.

A so-called "ransomware attack" is causing problems at all St. Louis Public Library branches.

Library system spokeswoman Jen Hatton says one of the system's servers is being blocked by an outsider who is asking for money in exchange for returning control of the server back to the library. The amount of the ransom being demanded is not being released.  

Hatton says the FBI has been contacted and is investigating the attack. The library's own technology employees are also working on repairing the server.

For the time being, access to about 700 computer workstations has been affected, and items cannot be checked out of the library system's 16 branches. However, the system's websiteis still operational, so digital content such as e-books can still be downloaded.

Follow Wayne on Twitter: @wayneradio

Wayne is the morning newscaster at St. Louis Public Radio.