05 Aug Cyber Warfare: Don’t Let it Happen to Your Local Government
If you’ve been paying attention to the news these past few years, you’ve probably heard the term “cyber warfare.” But cyber warfare isn’t just a concern for major political entities or large corporations. It can and does impact local governments. Here’s what you should know about how to protect your local government against cyber warfare.
Local Government Cyber Warfare Vulnerabilities
Cyber attacks exploit vulnerabilities in IT infrastructure. Some of the most common vulnerabilities are found in:
Software that is poorly designed or out of date can allow malicious actors to intercept information or execute malicious code that can render your computers unusable.
Operating systems are really just very complex pieces of software. That means they are also open to many of the same sorts of attacks. Make sure you always keep your OS up to date. You should also choose complex passwords.
Unsecured networks are often exploited by attackers in order to steal sensitive information or user accounts. Even just one compromised account can cause a chain reaction.
All organizations are exposed because most successful data breaches start with user-facing phishing attacks. Attackers target employees to get information like usernames, passwords or credit card data. They send authentic looking emails to employees who are unaware or not knowledgeable about these types of attacks. Spear-phishing targets specific individuals based on their function within the organization such as federal, state, and local elections officers who protect our democracy.
Recent Local Government Cyber Warfare
Knowing where you’re vulnerable isn’t always enough. It helps to also know how these types of attacks play out. Here are three recent examples:
City of Baltimore
On May 7th, 2019, Baltimore fell victim to a ransomware attack that used an exploit known as “EternalBlue.” Thousands of government computers were frozen during the attack, with the attackers demanding nearly $115,000 in bitcoin to restore access. Microsoft released a fix for this exploit in 2017, but unfortunately, the computers were using an outdated version of Windows.
City of Atlanta
In March 2018, Atlanta experienced a major cyber-attack. Using a virus called SamSam, two Iranian hackers obtained the passwords for a number of government employee user accounts. Once they had infiltrated the IT infrastructure they disabled a number of programs and demanded a ransom.
Sarasota Police Department
In February 2016, an unwitting employee of the Sarasota police department opened a seemingly benign email attachment. This unleashed a ransomware attack that encrypted over 160,000 government files. The hackers demanded the exorbitant sum of $33 million to restore access to the files.
Cyber Warfare Antidote for Local Government
Digital Agent brings local governments the best cyber warfare security in the industry to help identify and fix vulnerabilities in your IT infrastructure. Sentry by Digital Agent offers Threat Detection, Intrusion Detection and Remediation, Firewall Protection, and Anti-virus. They do it 24/7/365 with total regulatory compliance. Protect your local government against cyber warfare and call Digital Agent now.