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Most of the U.S. cities and companies are finding themselves at more jeopardy after the latest ransomware attack on Atlanta. Data breaches are increasing day by day and the epidemic is only worsening.
According to the security firm, SentinelOne, half of the organizations get hit by ransomware, but only 26% of them get there data back after paying the ransom. So, even if you pay, there is no guarantee that you will get the decryption key and access to your data back.
Earlier this week, multiple ransomware attacks were released in computer networks of cities of Atlanta, Baltimore, Denver, and the operations of Boeing.
Authorities Were Warned About the Attack in Atlanta
Atlanta authorities were well aware about the attack that happened. But, they overlooked the issue because of which they had to face huge data losses. Months back in an audit done by CBS affiliate WGCL-TV, a warning was given that Atlanta could easily get affected by cyber-attack if immediate security measures weren’t taken, which was overlooked.
If they would have acted or taken an action in timely manner things wouldn’t have gone this bad. Also, if the information about the same would have been floated to public they would have taken precautionary measures.
It’s better to take preventive measures than be sorry.
What Could Have Happened?
If the authorities were warned, instead of overlooking the issue they could have used preventive security measures, which could have saved further data loss and there would be less possibility of the attack.
But, What Exactly Happened?
Atlanta City and its computer network services were hit by a ransomware attack last week. This ransomware resulted in locking of important city data. This data was encrypted by the attackers in exchange of $51,000. This amount was demanded in the form of Bitcoin cryptocurrency so that the transaction stays untraceable. Actors left a ransom note that stated, if the ransom amount demanded wasn’t paid till the deadline, the hackers will wipe the data that will be no longer accessible.
The gang of actors, according to reports are using the ransomware dubbed as “SamSam”. The gang has already made a profit of $850,000 since last year. The city of Leeds was also attacked by the same group. Leeds paid almost around $12,000 for the recovering the data from the hackers last month.
Where on the other side, city of Atlanta did not stop working even after getting hit by the attack. Some of the services were terminated and suspended for a while so that other working systems do not slow down. The authorities took over a week to recover some parts of the data. This all was done manually so that further loss of data doesn’t take place. The employees were allowed to use the systems for the first time after the hack this week, though some of them are still facing issues after the attack.
How Baltimore Survived?
This wasn’t all! While Atlanta was recovering from the attack, Baltimore was also hit by the malicious cyber-attack. The officials of Baltimore accepted that the ransomware attack was executed on city’s 911 dispatch system. This attack lead to a 17-hour shutdown of the system that stopped the monitory systems and data flow.
The chief information officer Frank Johnson said in a statement “We were able to successfully isolate the threat and ensure that no harm was done to other servers or systems across the city’s network.” He also confirmed that the system outage was caused because of the ransomware attack, though it was termed as limited breach. The actors managed to get into the system through the changes made in firewall. One of the technician was working with the issues of automated dispatch system when they managed to get into the system.
The officials said that they had no idea about the demands of ransom made by the hackers who are responsible for the attack.
City of Denver and Operations of Boeing were also attacked
In Denver, multiple online portals and government websites suffered a system outage. Several mobile systems and 911 text system went down due to the attack. Firstly, the officials believed that this all was caused because of the software bug. But later, it was reported that the systems were having a software issue after the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) was hit twice by a “SamSam” ransomware earlier this week demanding ransom in form of bitcoin cryptocurrency.
In a statement, David McCurdy, CTO of the department said, “Department has no intentions of paying the ransomware”.
On the other hand, world’s one of the largest and biggest aerospace organization, Boeing was also hit by the cyber-attack called ‘WannaCry ransomware’.
Over the attack the officer, head of communications for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Linda Mills said, “The vulnerability was limited to a few machines. We deployed software patches. There was no interruption to the 777-jet program or any of our programs. We’ve done a final assessment”.
After these incidents and attacks over the major cities and organization took place, the question arises, “Is the data safe or are we just living in the world full of jeopardy?”
What do you think? Tell us about your answer in the comment section given below.