Cyberattacks demanding ransom in exchange for files growing

Police departments are being targeted with custom malware, demanding payment in exchange for files that were compromised during the attack.

Published Tue, Jun 24 2014 2:18 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 12:16 PM CST

Police departments in the United States are being targeted by cyberattacks compromising users and demanding ransom in exchange for control of PCs and files. It's a significant problem when emergency responders are unable to access databases and records due to someone carelessly clicking something in their email.

Cyberattacks demanding ransom in exchange for files growing | TweakTown.com

Recently, the Collinsville Police Department in Alabama was hit, triggered by someone in the police department opening a suspicious email attachment, that immediately hurt police activities. They were unable to access mug shot files, time sheets, and vehicle maintenance records - and the department's computer backups failed, and they might have to start over from scratch.

A police department in Massachusetts was compromised and chose to pay the $750 ransom, which is something federal investigators don't encourage. The files might be decrypted and returned, but likely don't end up returning the same way they were before being compromised.

Similar to private companies, police authorities serve as the first line of user defense, but they are failing miserably.

NEWS SOURCE:gadsdentimes.com

An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown looking to cover everything from consumer electronics to enterprise cloud technology. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the West Coast News Editor and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog, AlamedaTech.com, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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