A ransomware attack on the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS), the agency overseeing public defenders in the US, has caused a major slowdown – disabling email systems, delaying some hearings, and holding up payments for the private attorneys who represent clients.
They are not alone, Jackson County Georgia also reported paying out $400,000 in ransom last week.
Following this, Allan Liska, Senior Solutions Architect (and ransomware expert) at Recorded Future commented below, on why government agencies are attractive targets for cybercriminals.
Allan Liska, Senior Solutions Architect at Recorded Future:
“From library systems in South Carolina, to towns in Alaska, and even cities as big as Atlanta, local governments are being targeted for ransomware attacks. The public defender’s office in Boston is just the latest to report an attack, but they are not alone, Jackson County Georgia also reported paying out $400,000 in ransom this week. These ransomware attacks disrupt vital public services and, in some cases, can even put lives at risk. The worst part is that ransomware attacks against local governments are only going to increase in the coming year. Attackers behind ransomware campaigns know that local governments are the perfect storm of a target: limited security budget, overwhelmed IT/security staff and vital constituent services that need to be brought online as quickly as possible. The teams behind the Ryuk, BitPaymer and CrySIS ransomware are targeting local governments and they are much more sophisticated than other types of ransomware campaigns meaning they see more success, cause more destruction and are harder to stop.”