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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Ind. Gov't. - More on Madison County ransomware attack

This Anderson Herald Bulletin editorial on the ransomware attack on Madison County government is headed "Madison County hacker attack will cost more than ransom payment" supplementsa this earlier ILB post from Nov. 14. A quote:

The hacker used what is known as Ransomware, a software that infiltrates computers. To have access restored, the "hostage" must pay a ransom using bitcoin, an internet monetary system that is hard to trace. Most payments are between $500 and $1,000 but there has been one recorded at $30,000.

If payment is not made, the hacker can delete the victim's files.

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission warned that Ransomware is emerging as one of the most serious online threats facing businesses.

To get access back, Madison County paid a reported $28,000 after being told by its cybersecurity insurer that it would be the more prudent route.

To fix the problem, the county will need to pay thousands of dollars to defend itself from future attacks. The problem will also impact individual communities in Madison County. All are subject to similar random attacks.

Training again will be crucial. Government and business employees need to be reminded that they shouldn't open unwanted emails. Once a computer is infected, it needs to be unplugged from the network. Backing up data is a must. Those are just the start of security measures.

Foremost, government and business technology officials need to prepare for attacks. This may mean more premium payments to firms that offer cybersecurity insurance.

And the unsettling part is that the scope of Ransomware and other malware is unfathomable.

The editorial links to a FTC page on ransomware.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 16, 2016 10:16 AM
Posted to Indiana Government