Out of the Box Solutions Blog

Ransomware Can Just Be Devastating

Ransomware Can Just Be Devastating

Ransomware is still going strong, and now more than ever it’s important to emphasize the danger that it poses for your organization. Even municipalities and other high-profile targets are at risk of being taken down by ransomware. Since 2013, over 170 government systems at the county, city, or state levels have been attacked.

Keep in mind that these numbers don’t come from the federal government or the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as they don’t track these attacks. As of May 10th, of this year, there have been 22 known attacks on the public sector, and there are likely even more than we don’t know about.

March 2019 Attacks

March saw a few ransomware attacks on municipalities, including the one on the sheriff’s office in Fisher County, Texas, which was infected and couldn’t connect to a state law enforcement database.

Albany, New York announced that it also has become victimized by a Saturday ransomware attack. This was a tactical choice by the hackers, as there was nobody around to actually fight back against the attack on a weekend. The city gave an understated account of the attack’s effect, but the real issues were considerable in nature--much worse than delayed marriage licenses and birth certificates.

Ransomware also hit the Albany Police Department’s systems, resulting in the entirely digitized systems being inaccessible. Officers were unable to access incident reports, crime reports, and schedules.

April 2019 Attacks

In April, Genesee County, Michigan’s tax department was completely shut down by ransomware for more of the month. The infection has been removed since.

May 2019 Attacks

The complete shutdown of Baltimore, Maryland was the highlight (if you can call it that) May attack. Caused by a ransomware called RobinHood, various issues kept the government from working as intended. Emails couldn’t be sent, payments couldn’t be processed, and real estate transactions had to be placed on hold. According to cybersecurity expert Avi Rubin, RobinHood utilized a notoriously powerful algorithm that even the National Security Agency couldn’t break. Furthermore, Baltimore was utilizing outdated hardware and software, which further exacerbated the problem.

Baltimore City Mayor Jack Young has gone on the record stating that the city will not be paying the ransom of 13 Bitcoins (approximately $100,000). The FBI and Secret Service have been called in to investigate, but the city is expecting a lengthy recovery time of at least a few months.

Rubin has provided some insight into why not paying the ransom was the right call, stating that if nobody ever paid these ransoms, then the attacks wouldn’t be as popular as they are in the first place. Unfortunately, companies often pay the ransom due to several factors, one of which is almost certainly the embarrassment factor that comes with falling victim to a threat like this. 45 percent of affected organizations pay the ransom to try to get their data back, while 17 percent of state and local governments pay up.

Out of the Box Solutions has some experience dealing with these attacks, and we agree with the decision made by organizations that refuse to pay the ransom. There’s no guarantee that you will save your data, even by paying the ransom, so why should you do so? After all, you’re only funding future ransomware attacks. It’s no different from investing in the hacking campaign.

We instead recommend implementing preventative measures to keep attacks like this at bay in the first place. To learn more, reach out to us at 800-750-4OBS (4627).

Microsoft Pulling the Plug on Support for Key OS T...
Company Culture Goes a Long Way


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Monday, June 24 2019

Captcha Image

Mobile? Grab this Article!

Qr Code

Tag Cloud

Tip of the Week Security Best Practices Technology Business Computing Network Security Productivity User Tips Privacy Communication Malware Data Efficiency Tech Term Internet Microsoft Google Hardware Smartphones Mobile Device IT Support Hackers Innovation Windows 10 Android Email Cybersecurity Ransomware Network Communications Cloud Users Mobile Devices Business Managed IT Services Business Management Passwords Small Business Browser IT Services Applications Outsourced IT Collaboration Software Information Wi-Fi Data recovery Internet of Things Backup Saving Money Wireless Social Media Holiday Smartphone Workplace Tips Apps Bandwidth Employer-Employee Relationship Managed IT services Data Backup VoIp Marketing Blockchain Gadgets Hosted Solutions Networking Microsoft Office Value Computer Cloud Computing Managed Service Gmail Business Intelligence VPN BDR G Suite Data Management Remote Monitoring and Management Computers Managed IT Service Miscellaneous Save Money Tech Terms Remote Computing Upgrade Patch Management Access Control Connectivity Automation Medical IT Company Culture Office Paperless Office Facebook Chrome Office 365 Artificial Intelligence Analytics Cortana Healthcare Virtual Assistant Password Cost Management Mobility Wireless Charging Voice over Internet Protocol Telephony Data Security Net Neutrality Compliance Virtualization Cybercrime Proactive IT Help Desk Backup and Disaster Recovery Downloads Voice over IP Touchscreen Cryptocurrency Spyware Outlook Big Data Windows Server 2008 R2 Sports Sales Personal Information WannaCry Server Management e-waste Human Resources Edge Virus Solid State Drive Safety Threat Millennials Security Cameras Server Data Protection RAM Tactics Business Continuity Settings Hard Drives Trends Microsoft Office 365 Windows 7 HP Bring Your Own Device Profitability Taskbar Tablet Storage E-Commerce HIPAA disposal Employee-Employer Relationship Antivirus Hard Disk Drive Printing Business Technology Reporting Word Mobile Security Microsoft Teams Conferencing Telecommute IT budget SSD A.I. Time Management Document Management Hybrid Cloud Amazon Eliminating Downtime Physical Security National Security Excel Dark Web Payment Hard Drive Electronic Health Records Staff Video Dongle Paper Wearables Lead Generation Network Attached Storage Operating System Maintenance Telecommuting Analysis Certification Battery Movies Authentication Cables Tip of the week BYOD eCommerce Laptop Technology Tips Knowledge Error instant Messaging Processors Content Filtering Troubleshooting Health Customer Service Ink Phishing SaaS Managing Stress Digital Data loss Router Twitter Comparison Authorization Chrome OS Database User Tip Plug-In Wireless Internet Online Shopping Streaming Media Vulnerabilities Vulnerability Machine Learning Update OneNote Government PowerPoint Data Breach GDPR Environment Spam Employees Websites Internet Explorer Workers Training IT Management Inventory Unified Communications Specifications Disaster Recovery Regulation Alert Printers Windows Updates Quick Tips