PA Senate Democrats Feel the Ransomware Sting
Pennsylvania lawmakers entered the weekend in a state of panic as a ransomware attack encrypted the Senate Democrats' systems early Friday morning. The affected government officials contacted the FBI to look into the attack; local law enforcement and Microsoft were also roped into the investigation. No motive was indicated, and the monetary ransom amount demanded by the cyberattackers was not disclosed. No other Pennsylvania state or government offices have indicated a security breach at this time.
Cybercrime is on the rise. 2016 saw 638 million reported cyberattacks, over 167 times the amount of attacks in 2015. Ransomware is best known as a malicious software used to encrypt computer systems by cybercriminals until a sum of money is paid, usually in bitcoin. No motive is needed by the cybercriminal, and it is easy to fall victim, simply by clicking on a link in an unassuming email. If all sensitive data is regularly backed up to an offsite location, an affected business could avoid paying a ransom altogether.
Be vigilant - protect your business from being the next victim of cybercrime. There are steps you can take to mitigate vulnerabilities within your organization and ensure business continuity, should your business suffer from a cyberattack. Talk to a trusted security expert to ensure that your business systems have the right level of protection.