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22 Governments in Texas Hit By First Coordinated Ransomware Attack

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22 Governments in Texas Hit By First Coordinated Ransomware Attack

On August 16th, the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) stated that 22 local Texan governments were simultaneously hit by coordinated ransomware attacks. They also stated that most of the victims were small-sized local governments.

While government-targeted ransomware attacks are not new, this is the first incident of this scale and level of coordination. According to the Texas DIR, a single attacker was behind all of the attacks.

The city of Keene was one of the 22 cities that were affected. Mayor Gary Heinrich stated that the cyberattacker demanded a total ransom amount of $2.5 million. According to Heinrich, many of the compromised cities had IT software that was externally managed by a third party organization.

 

What is a ransomware attack?

Ransomware is a type of malicious software cyberattack where sensitive data on a victim’s computer is encrypted by an attacker, who demands a ransom to be paid for decryption.

Ransomware attacks have become more prevalent in recent years. Just last month, Florida’s Lake City and Riviera Beach City were both hit by ransomware attacks costing the cities $500 000 each. In September of last year, the town of Midland Canada suffered a similar attack. Laredo, another city in Texas, had in fact been hit by a ransomware attack in May 2019 that heavily impacted their email systems and computers. Their IT has since recovered.

The US Conference of Mayors estimates that at least 170 government bodies have been affected by ransomware since 2013.

What are the strategies to protect yourself from Coordinated Ransomware attacks?

This latest attack illustrates the immediacy of ransomware protection. While the victim in this case was a government, organizations and personal computers are also in constant danger of this type of cyberattack.

Ransomware causes major damage to day-to-day company functions. By ensuring that your most sensitive data is backed up, you can restore data in case of cyberattack. Don’t fall victim to ransomware. Managed Service Providers like GIGE Corporation can help you design and maintain network security and backup solutions. Call us at +1 888 366 4443 or email us at sales@gige.ca to learn more.

 

 

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