They say everything is bigger in Texas, and in this case, so are the cyberattacks. 23 local government entities in Texas suffered a coordinated ransomware attack on August 16. Ransomware has become a serious issue hitting not only governments but school systems and entire cities.
Basics of the Attack
Texas governments noticed something was awry when they reported having problems accessing their data. They notified the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR), who, at this time, has not released a list of affected institutions. The type of ransomware that affected their networks is known as .JSE. This means that the ransomware encrypts files and adds .JSE at the end of each file name.
What is concerning to victims is that there is no ransom note attached to the attack. This can prove difficult to even understand why your system isn’t functioning properly. The DIR along with the Texas Division of Emergency Management, Texas Military Department, Department of Public Safety, and more are attempting to bring the systems back online. The DIR is currently investigating further but has determined that the attacks came from a single cybercriminal.
Responding to Ransomware
The Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott called for a “level 2 escalated response” after the incident. This is part of a four-step response protocol created by the Texas Department of Emergency Management. Level 2 is right below the highest alert level 1, which is simply known as an emergency. The severity of a level 2 results in the need for responders beyond local status.
This type of cyber attack is becoming more popular on the local level after ransomware affected Albany, New York, including the police department; school systems in Louisiana, leaving phones and technology systems inaccessible; and Baltimore, Maryland.
A Trusted Source for Prevention
Many governments are calling for federal assistance in protecting against ransomware. While some, like Maryland, are increasing their security teams, the damage has already been done. The U.S. Conference of Mayors reported 22 ransomware attacks on the city, county, and state governments in just the first half of 2019.
Cybersecurity efforts require experienced professionals and a team that can effectively protect an organization and their files. Secure Forensics employs experienced examiners who can protect data from ransomware attacks and put an end to data breaches while finding the source of the attack. Want security for your business or city? Call Secure Forensics at 1-800-288-1407 today.