A major malware attack in Louisiana; multiple schools infected with ransomware

Malware attacks are still on the rise. International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) website security specialists report that multiple IT systems in academic institutions in Louisiana, US, have been attacked with an unknown malware variant. So far no attacks have been identified against other sectors.

The incident is so serious that John Bel Edwards, the state’s governor, issued an emergency alert after the security breach was discovered last Wednesday, as a result, the authorities will be able to allocate public resources to resolve the incident. This is the first time the Louisiana government has launched a cybersecurity emergency alert.

“Our website security experts have detected a malware attack on some school systems at the north of our territory; we are implementing coordinated measures to address the incident,” the governor said.

In recent months several cases have been detected in which hackers manage to compromise computer systems in different cities with some variants of malicious software, especially ransomware. In the US alone, multiple attacks have occurred against small towns and territories in states like New York, Florida, and Atlanta.

In addition to the ability to use financial resources, the emergency declaration allows Governor Edwards to turn to website security specialists of the Louisiana National Guard, the State Police, the Office of Technology Services, among other corporations at the federal level.

In 2017, Governor Edwards pushed for the creation of a commission made up of technology service providers, academics and law enforcement agencies; the objective of this committee was to develop protocols to respond to these kinds of threats.

“This is the type of incidents we were thinking about when creating the Cybersecurity Commission; an agency that focused on preventing, detecting and responding to information security incidents was needed, as local governments are often far overwhelmed by the capabilities of malicious hacker groups,” added the Governor.

At the moment, the agencies and professionals that work in this commission are developing the plan that will be implemented to correct this serious incident.   

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