Ransomware on the Rise in Government Agencies

  |  April 24, 2018

There’s a serious wake-up call gaining notice within the offices and agencies responsible for protecting our public infrastructures. Cybercriminals are embedding ransomware in government email addresses in a “phish” for staffers who will unsuspectingly download their malware. Once unlocked, the malware encrypts the agency’s data and can disrupt the operations of whatever office it enters.

A March 2018 ransomware attack on the City of Atlanta shut down the operation of multiple city offices, locking out access to services and interrupting court cases and arrest warrants.

On Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2016, San Francisco rail system’s payment platform had a cyberattack that resulted in free rides for passengers. The attack could have been disastrous if hackers had targeted the safety or control functions.

These types of attacks are ramping up against public agencies. Emails to staffers may try to get access to anything available – so a leak point could be at any office in a government system. And it’s not the data that criminals are after, it is disruption and often payment in cryptocurrency to unlock the data. Atlanta spent $2.7 million dealing with the attack after hackers demanded $50,000 in ransom.

How can we take digital education more seriously? Read this article in Forbes to learn more.

REDW’s CyberHealth practice offers a full range of services to address your top-priority cybersecurity concerns. To learn more about how we work with agencies to more proactively protect their assets and operations, or to take advantage of a limited-time complimentary consultation, please contact Marcus Clarke.

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