Cities and Governments Lax Cyber Security

 In Cyber Security

On May 7th, 2019, the City of Baltimore’s IT infrastructure was compromised. Baltimore’s ability to send out water bills and in government employees did not have access to their email,

They are the second U.S. city to fall victim to a ransomware attack. The hackers demanded 13 bitcoin (USD 76,280) from the city to return their data. The city was vulnerable due to their IT practices. 

The tool reportedly used by hackers is called EternalBlue malware. Not all hacking tools will leave a digital footprint, but this one did.

The New York Times reports that ever since the N.S.A. lost control of their tool “it has been picked up by state hackers in North Korea, Russia, and China” (NY Times).

Their budget was not utilized to allocate money to fund cyber-attack insurance. The city’s system was restored May 20th, 2019. However, they are still recovering from the fallout. The estimated loss for Baltimore is USD 18.2 million.

On May 29th, 2019, Riviera Beach, Florida was the target of yet another ransomware attack. All the city’s data remained locked until they paid the ransom fee. The hackers demanded 65 bitcoin (USD 603,000). After deliberation, the city council elected to pay the ransom.

By paying the ransom, this allowed them to retrieve the lost data. Since they hadn’t backed up any of their data, they understood they couldn’t regain access to any of their past data without paying the ransom.

However, not only are local governments getting hacked but so are entire countries. On July 21st, 2019, over 5 million Bulgarian’s data became accessible to anyone on the internet. In 2006 a data breach occurred at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; 26 million veterans had their data exploited.

All these attacks show the significance how important of cybersecurity is and how overlooking it will leave organizations vulnerable. create vulnerabilities. CyberCrime is rising, and if there are no mitigation strategies in place, your company is vulnerable to attack. 

So, the real question is, how does an organization recognize that their data is compromised? When this occurs, there is an alarming ransomware notice. They let you know what has happened and how much they demand to return your data. Overall, it can be extremely disastrous for large corporations, especially for a small business.

The hackers have no specific target when it comes to who they will attack. There have been many cities, universities, and even school districts compromised.

What can be done to stop this from occurring? CoreRecon will work on monitoring the environment and complete assessments. We want to keep organization data safe and make sure that your information remains protected.

Resources:         https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/25/us/nsa-hacking-tool-baltimore.html

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