Towards the end of November, Louisian’s state government experienced a ransomware infection caused by an unauthorized program downloaded onto a government owned computer. The cyberattack caused disruptions across several State offices, leaving employees unable to access the internet, email, or other necessary applications after a prompt server shutdown response by the Office of Technology Services. The shutdown was done in order to contain the infection and halt its spread to other servers.
"The service interruption was due to OTS' aggressive response to prevent additional infection of state servers and not due to the attempted ransomware attack," says Governor John Bel Edwards.
It was later discovered that the attack was carried about by the Ryuk ransomware strain, which infected the State’s computers through a phishing attack. The server shutdown response affected multiple State sites, including those for the Office of the Governor, Louisiana State Legislature, Louisiana Public Service Commission, Department of Health, Department of Corrections, Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV), and more. The OMV site shutdown affected 79 offices, as many were unable to receive or renew their vehicle registrations or licenses.
Approximately 500 of 5,000 servers were affected by the ransomware, which includes around 1,500 computers. No data was said to be stolen and no ransom was paid according to Louisiana state officials.
Thanks to new cybersecurity measures implemented by Governor Edwards, Louisiana recovered from the attack within a week, with all agency services back online. The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness had put together a team ready to handle the situation as soon as it occurred. Governor Edwards also made sure to create an emergency response plan for cyberattacks passed through an Executive Order JBE 2017-19.
The State’s preparation acts as a reminder for all to follow in their example, as ransomware attacks are becoming more rampant. Data storage, backup, and protection should be of utmost priority as part of any preparedness plan. Reevert™’s all-in-one data storage and hybrid backup solution is specifically designed to safeguard your data against any impending cyberattacks, putting firms and government agencies back on track in just a matter of minutes.Visit www.reevert.com for more information on how reevert’s numerous features and benefits can keep your data stay secured.
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