Two Counties in Idaho Become the Latest Victims of Cyber Attacks

Media Division | February 21, 2017

Virtually any organization or business can potentially be the target of cyber attacks.  Wherever there are illicit gains to be obtained is where cyber attackers will target, or sometimes even to display that they can compromise an organization with no apparent other motive.  In a couple recent attacks, two counties within Idaho were the victims of cyber attacks, which do not appear to be connected at this time.

Attacks Appear to Be Separate

In the first attack, a self-proclaimed Turkish hacker took down the Teton County website, and left behind an image of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, along with the Turkish flag, and a message stating “Hacked by ||JackSprrow||.”  Fortunately, this attack did no damage to the county’s website or computer systems, and the page was back up in about an hour.

The other attack was significantly more serious than the first.  In the second attack, Bingham County had their systems seized by a ransomware infection in their servers, and their systems have been down since Wednesday.  After the systems had been seized, Bingham county was then contacted by unidentified hackers who demanded the county pay between $25,000 and $30,000 for the systems to be released.  Bingham decided not to pay the requested ransom and instead switched over to their backup servers.  IT staff had thought the ransomware had been contained but then found out Friday morning that a backup server had also been infected, which then took the whole system offline.  Unfortunately, 911 dispatch was also affected by the attack, and computer tracking logs were not recording incoming 911 calls.  This required dispatch to direct responders using cellphones and physical maps.

Fortunately, Bingham County has backups for all of their data, so there will be no permanent damage.  And they hope to have the systems back up and running soon.  A similar ransomware attack had hit a county in Ohio, which also took down their computer systems, and required 911 dispatch to function off of older methods.  Ransomware attacks often infect a system through carefully crafted emails that fool individuals or employees, or otherwise known as phishing.

Protecting Your Business with Anti-Phishing Solutions

Phishing is one of most common forms of cyber attacks.  An email that portrays itself as a reputable company or one of the person’s associates can fool them into clicking on malicious links or attachments that infect the system.  Fortunately, phishing attacks can be easily protected against and mitigated.  Massive Alliance can provide anti-phishing solutions to protect your organization, or hunt down and eliminate a threat in the event of a breach.

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