Albany Ransomware Attack: Malware Hits New York State’s Capital City
The city of Albany, New York, has suffered a ransomware cyberattack. City officials spent the weekend responding to the cybersecurity incident, Albany Mayor Kathleen Sheehan confirmed on Sunday, March 31, 2019.
The attack is impacting some Albany police department systems, including scheduling and email applications that are accessed over the Internet, multiple reports suggest. Also, the attack apparently impacted computers in patrol cars, according to The Times Union of Albany. However, a spokesperson for the department says there are no interruptions in service to the community, the report added.
Albany is the capital of New York. Roughly 100,000 people reside in the city, and more than 1 million people are in the immediate area, according to Wikipedia.
Albany, New York Ransomware Attack: Mayor Kathleen Sheehan’s Statement
In a statement about the ransomware attack shared on social media, Sheehan wrote:
“City officials have worked throughout the weekend responding to this incident. All City employees will report to work during normal business hours on Monday, and City buildings will be open to the public at 12:00 p.m. City Court services will operate during normal business hours.
All City services will be available to the public, except as noted below:
If you are seeking copies of Birth Certificates, Death Certificates, or Marriage Certificates, please visit the New York State Vital Records Customer Service Lobby, 800 North Pearl Street, 2nd Floor, Room 200, Menands, NY 12204
To apply for a marriage license, you can visit the City/Town Clerk’s Offices below:
- Troy City Hall, 433 River St, Troy, NY 12180
- Colonie Town Hall, 534 New Loudon Road, Latham, NY 12110
- Watervliet City Hall, 2 Fifteenth Street, Suite B, Watervliet, NY 12189″
The mayor did not disclose the specific strain of ransomware; whether Albany lost any data; or if the city paid any ransom to the attackers.
MSSP Alert has reached out to city officials for more details about the attack and recovery efforts. We’ll update this article when we receive more information.
Ransomware Attacks Cities, Towns
Cities and towns worldwide have been popular targets for ransomware attacks. Among the noteworthy incidents:
- Jackson County, Georgia officials paid cybercriminals $400,000 after a cyberattack shut down the county’s computer systems.
- Atlanta, Georgia suffered a major ransomware attack in 2018.
- Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) employee computers temporarily were shut down due to a SamSam ransomware virus cyberattack in early 2018.
MSSPs, MSPs Battle Ransomware
Amid the attacks, many MSSPs and MSPs have introduced cybersecurity training — including simulated phishing attacks — to help ensure customers don’t fall for attacks that trigger ransomware malware. Also, many MSSPs and MSPs have been shifting to next-generation endpoint protection systems that mitigate most ransomware. Some traditional anti-virus packages have been known to overlook the attacks.
As a fail-safe, MSPs have also combined security with business continuity and disaster recovery services, which can restore data after a ransomware attack.
Hmm. Maybe if state and city governments weren’t so backward and glacial when it comes to technology, this could have been prevented. >.<