A rare “good news” story about ransomware…:
Ransomware hit Louisiana’s state government hard yesterday, shutting down multiple websites and email systems after it fell victim for the second time in just a few months to a ransomware attack.
In a series of tweets, Louisiana state governor John Bel Edwards revealed that his office had activated a cybersecurity response team in response to an attack that had affected “some, but not all state servers.”
The Louisiana Office of Technology Services (OTS) took the state’s servers down “out of an abundance of caution” to “prevent additional infection”, which had a predictable impact on many government agencies’ websites, online services, and email.
Amongst the affected agencies was the Department of Children and Family Services which tweeted that its child abuse and neglect hotline had been impacted.
Fortunately, it sounds like Louisiana may have been well prepared to deal with this incident. In 2017 Governor Edwards announced the creation of a Cyber Security Commission to share information, coordinate cybersecurity efforts across the government, and lead the response to emerging threats.
According to the Governor, it may take several days for full services to be restored, but it is not anticipated that any data loss will have occurred, and the ransom will not be paid.