Hackers demanded 13 bitcoins (worth about $100,000) to return Baltimore's data.
The city of Baltimore has refused to pay the ransom, and will need to purchase new software and hardware before rebuilding their servers from the ground up — a process which will takes months.
“Imagine if somebody would sneak into a government building at night, load up a bunch of boxes with all the paperwork for all the pending business that the city was conducting, put it all in a truck and drive away — and demand some money in order to bring that truck back.”
“That’s a lot easier to do in cyberspace without getting caught, and that’s what happened here.”
“The city of Baltimore, like many local governments, was not at all prepared for something like this….all you need is one weak link in the chain and that’s what the attackers will go after.”
Those weak links are often preventable vulnerabilities like old hardware and old software, both of which Baltimore was using.
“The fact that you have a completely unsustainable computer system with no plan in place for when something like this happens after watching it happen to countless other cities — it’s frustrating and disappointing.”
Communities taking the “wait and see” approach are at the greatest risk of becoming the next victim of a ransomware attack.
According to CyberEdge, 45% of organizations hit with ransomware end up paying a ransom.
Another study showed that at least 17% of state and local government entities pay according to RecordedFuture.
What can you do to protect your data?
The best thing Vision 8 CAMA clients can do to protect their community’s CAMA data is to stop storing it on outdated community servers and move it to Vision’s secure cloud hosting service.
Don’t wait until the next round of ransomware attacks. If your community’s CAMA data is still sitting on a risky, outdated server it’s time to move to the cloud.
Read the full Morning Edition article on NPR.org
Ransomware Cyberattacks Knock Baltimore’s City Services Offline
May 21, 2019 – 5:02am ET
Heard on Morning Edition
How a Secret U.S. Cyberweapon Backfired
Hackers have seized government computer systems using the National Security Agency’s own hacking tool.