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Attacks/Breaches

3/23/2018
01:15 PM
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City of Atlanta Hit with Ransomware Attack

FBI investigating computer outages in the city's network possibly tied to Samsam-type ransomware variant.

Computer systems for the City of Atlanta were hit by an apparent ransomware attack that has caused outages and is now under investigation by the FBI.

According to Atlanta's local news channel 11Alive, the attack appears to have the earmarks of the Samsam variant of ransomware. Some of the city's customer-facing billing and court information systems have suffered outages due to the attacks.

"At this time, our Atlanta Information Management team is working diligently with support from Microsoft to resolve the issue. We are confident that our team of technology professionals will be able to restore applications soon. Our city website, Atlantaga.gov, remains accessible and we will provide updates as we receive them," the City said in a statement provided to 11Alive.

According to the report, a screenshot from one of the infected machines showed the attackers demanding ransom of $6,800 "per unit," or $51,000 to decrypt the entire system.

For more on this developing story, read the report here.

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REISEN1955
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REISEN1955,
User Rank: Ninja
3/23/2018 | 3:11:41 PM
Local Malware engineer
I have the pleasure of working with the ERR Malware unit at Fiserv and every day our dedicated group watches, and remediates, a wide range of attacks.  We keep the walls up.  So this attack - only a few miles down the highway - is most amusing in a sardonic way.  Where did the ransomware COME into the network from?  I would wager just one user (as in North Carolina) who opened a PDF infected invoice and WHAMMO off they go to the races.  User education is the FRONT FIRST LINE of defense.  Now we see if Atlanta has a good recovery and restore protocol in place?  From what year?  Tested?  We shall see. 
toby_x
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toby_x,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/23/2018 | 5:13:25 PM
Re: Local Malware engineer
I cannot agree more... user awareness education is the most crucial element to any security plan, regardless of industry, location, experience level, etc,. etc., etc.
REISEN1955
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REISEN1955,
User Rank: Ninja
3/26/2018 | 10:56:57 AM
Re: Local Malware engineer
Subject is always dear to me.  I was supporting the computer network of a small 501C3 museum in NJ a few years ago and on January 14, 2014 at 1:45 am --- Cryptolocker.  Bounced from executive director station to server and hosed everything!!!   I just picked my offsite single dedicated computer for this account --- put it into car and drove to the museum.,  Last night's un-corrupted backup.  Same system name and folder structure as server.  Turned server off --- put new system up and all data was available.  Then I carefully copied this data back TO the corrupted server drive and in about 3 hours had all data restored.  Now this is a small restore scenario, not a data center.  But the same logic holds.  Have a plan - verify - test and use when necessary.  
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