Regional municipal ransomware attacks soar; MS-ISAC can help

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Recent regional ransomware attacks underscore the importance of information sharing among municipalities.

More than 70 cities and towns have been hit with ransomware attacks so far this year with all levels of state and local governments the intended victims of nearly two-thirds of all ransomware attacks according to new analysis by the cybersecurity firm Barracuda Networks. These statistics include the recent sweep of attacks that struck 22 Texas towns and cities, which officials say was led by a single threat actor.

Barracuda’s researchers conducted a deeper dive on 55 ransomware attacks on state, county and local governments that have taken place this year and found that 38 were on local governments, 14 were on county governments, and three were on state governments. Nearly half of the government victims, around 45%, were small municipalities with populations of fewer than 50,000 residents, and 24% had fewer than 15,000 residents.

Two towns and one county government payed the ransoms. Lake City, Florida, paid around $500,000 (42 bitcoin), and Riviera Beach paid about $600,000 (65 bitcoin). In La Porte County, Indiana, officials paid $130,000 in ransom.

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