Cybersecurity 2019: Texas Agencies Crippled by Ransomware Attack

Cybersecurity threats continue to plague the world.

A few keystrokes are all it takes.  All of a sudden, your most private information is in the hands of criminals. Your most personal information, banking details, social security numbers, your children’s information.  But we’re not prepared.

More than 140 Equifax customers just learned that the hard way.

Weeks ago, more than 100 million Capital One customer accounts and credit card applications were hacked. In fact, according to CNN, Paige Thompson is accused of breaking into the company’s server and accessing 140,000 social security numbers, a million Canadian insurance numbers, and 80,000 bank account numbers.

The company said the hack happened in late March 2019, and said it fixed the vulnerability.  The company also noted that it was “unlikely that the information was used for fraud or disseminated by this individual,” as quoted by CNN.

Ransomware Just Crippled 20 Local Agencies in Texas

Up to 20 local government agencies throughout Texas were taken hostage by a coordinated ransomware attack, according to the Texas Department of Information.  “It looks like we found out earlier today, but we’re not currently releasing who’s impacted due to security concerns,” they said, as quoted by Fox News.

This is nothing new, though.

The City of Atlanta was hit by a ransomware attack. Baltimore was hit with one, forcing officials to shut down city servers.  The city even spent millions to regain access to its own networks after the attacks. In Riviera Beach, Florida, officials paid a $600,000 ransom.  

Lake City, Florida officials paid nearly half a million-dollar ransom.

Interesting to note, the U.S. FBI estimates we’ve seen more than 4,000 ransomware attacks a day since January 2016, marking a 300% jump over the 1,000 estimated daily attacks in 2015.  

And yet, we’re still not prepared for future attacks.