New Orleans In State of Emergency Following Cyber Attack

Ransomware and phishing attack on city of new orleans

 

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It was only about a week ago that the government facility in Pensacola, Florida was shut down due to a cyber attack. Now the city of New Orleans is shut down and has declared a “State of Emergency” releasing emergency funds to help fight a ransomware cyber attack.

What They Found

The city of New Orleans was notified of an attack at 5am Fri. Dec. 13th and was completely shutdown by 11am. Luckily, the city fire and police departments were not affected by this attack [Editor note: network segmentation is very important!]. The city reported that they found ransomware activity on their network just before shutting down their computers. Ransomware has been crippling businesses, cities, and non-profits the world over! Over Thanksgiving, RYUK Ransomware Infected 110 Healthcare Facilities effectively shutting them all down. A quick google search of “Ransomware Attacks” reveals an epidemic that needs action on your part to prevent it from happening to your organization.
 

Why are so Many Government Entities attacked?

This isn’t the first time we have seen government facilities targeted by ransomware and phishing attacks. The city of Johannesburg, South Africa was affected by ransomware hackers who demanded bitcoin payment. Bitcoin is the payment of choice for cyber-crimes because it cannot be easily traced. Governments are common attack targets for a variety of reasons. They don’t often have up-to-date Information Technology infrastructure and many have yet to create an active awareness training program leaving them at high risk. However, even with both of those items addressed, government entities will continue to be targeted by hackers because they most often carry cybersecurity insurance. This means hackers believe they have the ability to pay ransom demands.  Public knowledge of Cyber security insurance makes government entities a common target. Don’t advertise this if you’re a government facility.

What Can Be Done?

It is extremely important for government facilities and businesses to adopt cyber security processes and best practices. Establish Wire Transfer processes that always require verbal confirmation of wiring instruction changes. Update computer systems (everyone knows Windows 7 is End-of-Life and End-of-Support by Microsoft on Jan. 20th 2020 right)?  A strong next-generation anti-virus product is also an important step. Most importantly, cybersecurity professionals have long acknowledged that Employees are the weakest link in Cybersecurity.  Why wouldn’t they be?  Schools are not teaching these skills!  How does anyone learn them without a proper educational program in place to teach them? This is where CyberHoot can help play a role in securing your business.  CyberHoot provides awareness training on critical cybersecurity topics and lowers the chances of a successful ransomware attack against you! You can sign up for our Newsletter or even register for a free 30 day trial here: CyberHoot.com.

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What is Ransomware? What is Phishing? | What is Network Segmentation? | What is Bitcoin? 

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