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.

Threat Intelligence

12/11/2019
10:00 AM
50%
50%

City of Pensacola, Fla., Confirms Ransomware Attack

Most systems remain offline to prevent the attack from spreading.

An ongoing cyberattack against the city of Pensacola, Fla., is confirmed to be ransomware, officials reported this week. While some email service has been restored for city workers, most of Pensacola's systems are still disconnected to prevent the infection from spreading.

In a statement released after the Dec. 7 incident, city spokesperson Kaycee Lagarde said IT staff responded by removing computers from the city network. The city remained operational; however, some services were affected, including city emails, some city landlines, 311 customer services (calls are received, but online services are down), and online bill payments, including Pensacola Energy and City of Pensacola Sanitation Services. Emergency dispatch and 911 services were not affected.

An updated report from the Pensacola News Journal says Lagarde confirmed the attack was ransomware, but few other details were shared, including ransom amount or plans to pay it. In an email to County Commissioners, county IT staff reportedly said they were not aware of a ransom but were redirected to obtain a decryption key on the anonymized Tor network.

This email, which was initially published but has since been taken offline, said the malware used in this incident was similar to that used in an attack against security firm Allied Universal. The company has an office in Pensacola and was targeted with Maze ransomware in November. When it missed its ransom payment deadline, attackers published 700 MB of stolen data online.

If it's true the same operators are behind the Pensacola incident, the city is in a tough spot. Pensacola is one of several Florida municipalities to be hit with ransomware this year: Lake City and Riviera Beach opted to pay ransom following attacks; shortly after, Key Biscayne was also hit with ransomware. 

The cyberattack against Pensacola occurred less than 24 hours after a shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Dec. 6. So far it seems the two incidents are unrelated, though an investigation is ongoing.

Read more details about the Pensacola attack here.

Check out The Edge, Dark Reading's new section for features, threat data, and in-depth perspectives. Today's top story: "Security 101: What Is a Man-in-the-Middle Attack?"

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
Limited-Time Free Offers to Secure the Enterprise Amid COVID-19
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  3/31/2020
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 4/3/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
6 Emerging Cyber Threats That Enterprises Face in 2020
This Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at six emerging cyber threats that enterprises could face in 2020. Download your copy today!
Flash Poll
State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
Data breaches and regulations have forced organizations to pay closer attention to the security incident response function. However, security leaders may be overestimating their ability to detect and respond to security incidents. Read this report to find out more.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-11586
PUBLISHED: 2020-04-06
An XXE issue was discovered in CIPPlanner CIPAce 9.1 Build 2019092801. An unauthenticated attacker can make an API request that contains malicious XML DTD data.
CVE-2020-11587
PUBLISHED: 2020-04-06
An issue was discovered in CIPPlanner CIPAce 9.1 Build 2019092801. An unauthenticated attacker can make an API request and get the content of ETL Processes running on the server.
CVE-2020-11589
PUBLISHED: 2020-04-06
An Insecure Direct Object Reference issue was discovered in CIPPlanner CIPAce 9.1 Build 2019092801. An unauthenticated attacker can make a GET request to a certain URL and obtain information that should be provided to authenticated users only.
CVE-2020-11590
PUBLISHED: 2020-04-06
An issue was discovered in CIPPlanner CIPAce 9.1 Build 2019092801. An unauthenticated attacker can make an HTTP GET request to HealthPage.aspx and obtain the internal server name.
CVE-2020-11591
PUBLISHED: 2020-04-06
An issue was discovered in CIPPlanner CIPAce 9.1 Build 2019092801. An unauthenticated attacker can make an API request and obtain the full application path along with the customer name.