Severe ransomware attacks against public institutions in the United States are becoming very common, IT security audit specialists say. From schools, libraries, and public administration systems, incidents keep happening in cities such as Florida, New York, Louisiana, and more.
Recently, U.S. authorities disclosed a ransomware attack on the Georgia State Patrol. Lt. Chris Stallings, head of the state patrol, mentioned that one of the corporation’s employees detected the incident on the morning of July 26. State police announced that it is collaborating with the Georgia Technology Authority to investigate, manage and incident recovery.
A few days ago, the police department of Lawrenceville, a small town in Georgia, reported a ransomware infection that mainly affected its email server and its digital report database, according to IT security audit specialists. “Attackers managed to encrypt access to certain files and systems that we use on a daily basis, so for now it is impossible for us to work with the compromised resources,” said Lt. Jake Parker of Lawrenceville Police.
In addition to Lawrenceville Police, Georgia’s state court systems were also compromised. State government spokesmen mentioned that hackers used a dangerous ransomware variant to infect courts across the state.
Although the investigation is still ongoing, IT security audit specialists believe it highly likely that attackers would have a presence on the court’s networks long before the ransomware infection was detected.
Cybersecurity incidents in Atlanta state have become very common since the state’s massive cyberattack in 2018, which halted operations on various state administrative systems and multiple municipalities.
According to specialists from the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS), this is not the first case of ransomware infection against U.S. law enforcement agencies. Just a few weeks ago, the state of Maryland reported some ransomware infection outbreaks in various local law enforcement agencies. In addition, officials from the Virgin Islands Police Department also reported similar incidents.