Louisiana Government Hit By Ransomware Hackers
Louisiana is hit by hackers which virtually put state agencies on hold. All state websites and email systems were locked down.
Governor John Bel Edwards says the cyber security threat has affected multiple state websites and offices.
The Office of Technology Services ‘initiated its security protocols and, out of an abundance of caution, took state servers down, which impacted many state agencies’ e-mail, websites and other online applications.’
Jacques Berry, a spokesman for the Division of Administration tells The Advocate IT teams are working to correct the issues based on the agency's priority level. "Things are coming back in waves," Berry said. However, it could take "several days" before some servers are completely fixed.
These are just a few of the state agencies which The Advocate reports still might be having troubles today:
Office of Motor Vehicles
Around 79 OMV offices went offline Monday due to the ransomware attacks and ceased any driver's license issuing car registration renewal from happening.
Department of Children and Family Services
Most of the 375,000 SNAP benefit recipients were still good to use their EBT cards, which were loaded electronically during the first two weeks of the month.
Louisiana Department of Health
The agency lost access to internet and email when its servers went down, said Louisiana Department of Health spokesman Bob Johannessen.
This also meant people could not apply for healthcare coverage under Medicaid expansion.
Louisiana Secretary of State
Coming off the heels of major runoff elections across the state, curious residents would not be able to check election results via this agency.
Louisiana Secretary of State spokesman Tyler Brey said that office’s website and app were down.
Louisiana Public Service Commission
The state office's computers are locked as are those at the Department of Revenue.
The PSC accepted and stamped utility regulatory filings but couldn't add the reports, inspections and applications to its online database.
Residents were also unable to purchase hunting licenses because of the ransomware attack.
Several cities and towns have been hit by ransomware attacks over the past 2 years.
Here are a few of them:
- June 26, 2019: Lake City, Florida agrees to pay ransom.
- June 20, 2019: Riviera Beach, Florida discloses attack and payment.
- May 7, 2019: Baltimore hit with ransomware attack.
- April 2019: Cleveland's airport suffered a ransomware attack.
- April 2019: Augusta, Maine suffered a highly targeted malware attack that froze the city’s entire network and forced the city center to close.
- April 2019: Hackers stole roughly $498,000 from the city of Tallahassee.
- March 2019: New York suffered a ransomware attack.
- March 2019: Jackson County, Georgia officials paid cybercriminals $400,000 after a cyberattack shut down the county’s computer systems.
- March 2018: Atlanta, Georgia suffered a major ransomware attack.
- February 2018:Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) employee computers temporarily were shut down due to a SamSam ransomware virus cyberattack.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors has vowed to no longer pay ransomware demands from hackers.