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Attacks/Breaches

3/6/2018
12:45 PM
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Second Ransomware Round Hits Colorado DOT

A variant of SamSam sends CDOT employees back to pen and paper with two attack waves in two weeks.

Getting hit by ransomware is expensive and embarrassing. Getting hit twice in a two-week period makes it much worse. That's the situation in which the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) finds itself after a second wave of SamSam ransomware hit while the department was still in the process of cleaning up from the first attack.

In the first attack, over 2,000 computers running Windows and McAfee security software were taken offline after their files were encrypted. Approximately 20% of those systems had been brought back into service when a variation of the original ransomware struck in a second wave of attacks. All affected computers were once again taken offline as employees of the department reverted to pen and paper to complete routine tasks.

In an interview with the Denver Post, Brandi Simmons, a spokeswoman for the state's Office of Information Technology said, "The variant of SamSam ransomware just keeps changing. The tools we have in place didn't work. It's ahead of our tools."

Dozens of staff members from Colorado's Office of Information Technology, the Colorado National Guard, and the FBI are working to get the systems back online. There is no current timeline for having all systems restored to service.

Read more here and here.

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