States step up cybersecurity efforts as threats increase
Spurred by recent attacks, some U.S. states are taking action and allocating funds to boost their defenses against cyber threats.
Earlier this month, Mandiant announced that it had responded to an intrusion by a Chinese-backed hacking group, APT41, that targeted a U.S. state government’s computer network. The security company ultimately discovered a persistent effort that allowed the malicious hackers to successfully compromise at least six U.S. state government networks by exploiting vulnerable internet-facing web applications using a zero-day vulnerability.
Mandiant couldn’t determine the hackers’ motives but said the intrusions were consistent with an espionage operation. The company also predicted that further investigation would reveal even more states whose agencies were affected by the effort.
These incidents underscore that state governments are just as attractive, if not even juicier, targets for malicious hackers as the federal government or any other organization. It’s no surprise then that state governments are stepping up their efforts to bolster their cybersecurity protections, launching task forces, hiring advisors, creating security centers, and boosting cybersecurity spending.
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