Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

9/9/2019
01:20 PM
50%
50%

Texas Refuses to Pay $2.5M in Massive Ransomware Attack

The ransomware campaign affected 22 local governments, none of which have paid the attackers' $2.5 million ransom demand.

The state of Texas is so far refusing to comply with the demands of a ransomware attack that affected 22 local governments, the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) reports. None of the affected municipalities have paid the $2.5 million ransom demanded.

On August 16, a coordinated ransomware campaign hit systems of cities and towns across Texas, prompting state officials to activate a task force consisting of the DIR, Texas A&M University System's Security Operations Center, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and emergency and military responders. By August 23, all affected entities had transitioned from assessment to remediation and recovery; now, more than half have resumed their normal operations.

The DIR is now scheduling follow-up visits with governments to ensure their rebuilding efforts are successful, according to an update the organization published late last week. It is unaware of ransom being paid by any of the 22 affected municipalities in the aftermath of the attack.

Ransom payments are a controversial topic among security professionals, most of whom disagree with paying attackers and fueling their motivation to launch future campaigns. Still, depending on the size of the attack and amount of money requested, ransom payments may amount to less than the cost of rebuilding networks from scratch — a burden that could potentially fall on taxpayers' shoulders, commented ImmuniWeb CEO Ilia Kolochenko.

"However, given that no human lives are at stake, in a long term prospective, such rigid tactics may well disincentivize the attackers," he said of the Texas attack. It's imperative governments have processes in place to handle incidents of this scale. Based on the DIR's latest update, it seems Texas had done sufficient preparation to avoid making a high ransom payment.

Read more details here.

Check out The Edge, Dark Reading's new section for features, threat data, and in-depth perspectives. Today's top story: "Phishers' Latest Tricks for Reeling in New Victims"

Dark Reading's Quick Hits delivers a brief synopsis and summary of the significance of breaking news events. For more information from the original source of the news item, please follow the link provided in this article. View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
REISEN1955
50%
50%
REISEN1955,
User Rank: Ninja
9/9/2019 | 3:58:05 PM
One for the good guys
Hooray!!!   Now where did we put that backup and recovery plan?
I 'Hacked' My Accounts Using My Mobile Number: Here's What I Learned
Nicole Sette, Director in the Cyber Risk practice of Kroll, a division of Duff & Phelps,  11/19/2019
DevSecOps: The Answer to the Cloud Security Skills Gap
Lamont Orange, Chief Information Security Officer at Netskope,  11/15/2019
Attackers' Costs Increasing as Businesses Focus on Security
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  11/15/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-13157
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-22
nsGreen.dll in Naver Vaccine 2.1.4 allows remote attackers to overwrite arbitary files via directory traversal sequences in a filename within nsz archive.
CVE-2012-2079
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-22
A cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in the Activity module 6.x-1.x for Drupal.
CVE-2019-11325
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-21
An issue was discovered in Symfony before 4.2.12 and 4.3.x before 4.3.8. The VarExport component incorrectly escapes strings, allowing some specially crafted ones to escalate to execution of arbitrary PHP code. This is related to symfony/var-exporter.
CVE-2019-18887
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-21
An issue was discovered in Symfony 2.8.0 through 2.8.50, 3.4.0 through 3.4.34, 4.2.0 through 4.2.11, and 4.3.0 through 4.3.7. The UriSigner was subject to timing attacks. This is related to symfony/http-kernel.
CVE-2019-18888
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-21
An issue was discovered in Symfony 2.8.0 through 2.8.50, 3.4.0 through 3.4.34, 4.2.0 through 4.2.11, and 4.3.0 through 4.3.7. If an application passes unvalidated user input as the file for which MIME type validation should occur, then arbitrary arguments are passed to the underlying file command. T...