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Atlanta Recovering From Major Ransomware Attack

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Cyber Security in Atlanta Needs To Be a Top Priority For Local Businesses

Cyber Security in AtlantaAfter a ransomware attack on Atlanta last month, government officials were offered a serious warning about letting cyber security efforts lapse. This should serve as a reminder that cyber security in Atlanta should be a top priority for businesses throughout the area. Ten days after the attack, many offices and systems still had not recovered.

The so-called “SamSam” attack focused on the city’s computer network, blocking access to electronic records. Jails and courts had to work manually, and many city employees still lack access to email and the internet. The courts were unable to process ticket payments over a week after the attack.

Ransomware attacks have been on the rise world-wide, but this is the first to hit the city of Atlanta specifically. More than 1,200 ransomware attacks were detected every day last year, so it’s no wonder cyber security in Atlanta should be a top concern. Ransomware lets hackers seize control of computers, whether they belong to individuals, businesses, or local governments.

The FBI is investigating the Atlanta cyber security attack, but the identity of the hackers has not been found. They are demanding about $51,000 worth of bitcoin to unlock the systems, creating a hostage situation of sorts. The city is unsure when they will be fully operational again.

The attack was particularly advanced, and targeted weak passwords within public-facing systems in the network, as well as other vulnerabilities. They were able to compromise eight of the 15 auditor computers, causing a majority of the data to be unrecoverable.

This was certainly a wakeup call for the city, who knew Atlanta’s cyber security efforts needed to be revamped. “There’s a lot of work that needs to be done with our digital infrastructure in the city of Atlanta, and we know that year after year that it’s something that we have to focus on, and certainly this has sped things up,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said.

The attack continues to affect the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta airport, which had to shut-down it’s WiFi system as a precaution. As a result, security wait times and flight information were unavailable, so passengers had to consult their individual airlines for updates. This is certainly a setback for the world’s busiest airport, and a disappointment for passengers.

This cyber security issue extends outside Atlanta. Suburban town Loganville, George is advising residents to monitor their bank accounts and credit reports. This is an unrelated attack, but still serves as an alert to businesses and individuals that cyber security is important.

If there had been proper cyber security measures set up in Atlanta, this attack, and thus the release of sensitive data, could have been prevented. If your business could use a security over-all to protect from similar attacks, contact us today for a quote.

See this post in PDF format here. 

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