NOW IT IS NEW ORLEANS!
The ransomware tsunami has been raging through the US for quite sometime. It’s New Orlean’s turn now. There were over 20 local self governing bodies who went through this attack in 2018 -19 till sometime in Aug / Sept this year when another 22 such bodies in Texas were attacked in a day. New Orleans has declared a state of emergency and shut down its computers after a ransomware attack. This has taken the plight of the city governments etc to a different level.
The strange aspect of this attack is that while ransomware has been detected there has been no demands for any ransom. That takes us to a typical issue of hacktivists, where monetary gain is not the intention behind the crime. Political, moral differences and subtle undercurrents of duplicity are the considerations for these crimes, from Julian Assange to Edward Snowden to Bradly Manning, the last two have been insiders in National Security Agency and the US Army.
Suspicious activity was spotted around 5 am Friday morning, by 8 am the activity increased and there was evidence of phishing and ransomware. Once the attack was confirmed, servers and computers were shut down. Louisiana has recently gone through the same process of emergency in November. Second emergency declaration in the same state in such a short span. These organisations are particularly vulnerable as they often underfunded and underesourced, unable to protect when under major threats.
Might be because of the successive recent ransomware attacks, a different type of resilience has developed. Police, fire and EMS can now work outside city’s internet network. Emergency communications are maintained. Scheduling building inspections are handled manually. Real-Time Crime Center works off city network, cameras work independently, regardless of the connectivity. The world is at cross roads. Cyber Security at the most basic level has to be sorted out for a normal life.
ONLY QUANTUM LEAP IN OPERATIONAL TECHNICAL SKILLS CAN CONTROL THIS MENACE.