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
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 9/17/2020
Cybersecurity Bounces Back, but Talent Still Absent
Simone Petrella, Chief Executive Officer, CyberVista,  9/16/2020
Meet the Computer Scientist Who Helped Push for Paper Ballots
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  9/16/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-25789
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-19
An issue was discovered in Tiny Tiny RSS (aka tt-rss) before 2020-09-16. The cached_url feature mishandles JavaScript inside an SVG document.
CVE-2020-25790
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-19
** DISPUTED ** Typesetter CMS 5.x through 5.1 allows admins to upload and execute arbitrary PHP code via a .php file inside a ZIP archive. NOTE: the vendor disputes the significance of this report because "admins are considered trustworthy"; however, the behavior "contradicts our secu...
CVE-2020-25791
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-19
An issue was discovered in the sized-chunks crate through 0.6.2 for Rust. In the Chunk implementation, the array size is not checked when constructed with unit().
CVE-2020-25792
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-19
An issue was discovered in the sized-chunks crate through 0.6.2 for Rust. In the Chunk implementation, the array size is not checked when constructed with pair().
CVE-2020-25793
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-19
An issue was discovered in the sized-chunks crate through 0.6.2 for Rust. In the Chunk implementation, the array size is not checked when constructed with From<InlineArray<A, T>>.