Ransomware: Local Government in the Firing Line

Ransomware is alive and kicking, and local governments seem to be getting the worst of it. How can organisations best secure themselves against this threat? F5 Labs' David Warburton discusses the issue with ITProPortal.
April 22, 2020
1 min. read

Ransomware is not the hottest topic around right now. But that may be deceptive as to its proliferation, because figures show it is still very much alive and kicking.

It only takes a quick glance at the rest of the world to see the devastating effects ransomware attacks can have on public and private sector organisations. Attackers are continuing to increase the precision of their targets, particularly homing in on key businesses and government entities. This has resulted in countless organisations being driven offline, resulting in ineffective operations and huge financial losses for businesses.

For example, an incident with the Baltimore City government last year demonstrates the after-effects of a successful ransomware attack only too well: two weeks of function loss in systems and a ransom of $100,000 to cough up. Similarly, New Orleans City systems were down for weeks in December 2019 following a successful ransomware attack. Elsewhere, more than 20 local governments in Texas were targeted in a similarly effective and coordinated attack back in August 2019.

The reason local governments are under fire is simple. Safe online services are essential for small borough councils meaning they’re a valuable bargaining chip for hackers. And despite differing approaches to tackling and reporting on the issue, public organisations in the UK are clearly facing similar threats. Last month, a ransomware attack on Redcar and Cleveland council’s systems kept them offline for nearly three weeks.

Read the full article published April 2, 2020 here: by ITProPortal.

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Authors & Contributors
David Warburton (Author)
Director, F5 Labs

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