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Ransomware round two: City of Riverside's Police and Fire department hit with another cyberattack

Riverside's Police and Fire Department has faced two ransomware attacks in the past two months. The first attack in April 2018 compromised the department's systems and encrypted records related to ongoing investigations. This led to the department losing around 10 months worth of information. The city, however, did not pay the ransom because most of the encrypted data was recoverable through backups and public court records.

Just as the department was recovering from this first attack, ransomware struck again in May. This time, they lost about eight hours worth of data entry, which means they now have to re-enter this information into their systems manually using hard copies of court records.

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Why this is troubling

Police and fire department records usually contain personal information about victims and suspects involved in ongoing investigations, including their names, social security numbers, and medical information. This kind of sensitive information landing in the hands of hackers is a big security concern, especially with the risk of identity theft. Unfortunately, this also isn't the first time a police department has been hit with ransomware. Past victims include departments in Roxana, Illinois; Mount Pleasant, South Carolina; and more recently, Atlanta, Georgia. The sheer amount of confidential evidence and personal information hackers have gotten their hands on is troubling.

Best practices for preventing ransomware

    • Educate your employees about common sources of ransomware such as phishing emails and malicious attachments.
    • Back up your files regularly.
    • Maintain and update your programs, operating systems, and security software and hardware as needed.
    • Apply patches to your browsers, operating systems, and other applications regularly.

How DataSecurity Plus can help

DataSecurity Plus is a file server auditing, data discovery, and storage analysis solution. This tool alerts you when a potential ransomware attack strikes your file systems and renames or alters files. It also includes an automated, user-defined threat response mechanism to quarantine ransomware and shut down infected devices to stop the infection from spreading. Explore DataSecurity Plus.


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