On November 18, 2019, several agencies of the Louisiana government reported a ransomware attack. The Office of Technology Services immediately took steps to take the state websites and many online government services offline to prevent the attack from spreading.
As soon as the attack occurred, Louisiana State Police and several federal agencies launched an investigation. Fortunately, they had backup data which helped them restore affected online services and state websites, so they did not have to pay ransom to the attackers in order to recover their data.
“While it is nearly impossible to prevent all cyberattacks, because we have prioritized improving Louisiana’s cybersecurity capabilities, we were able to quickly neutralize the threat. The majority of the service interruption seen by employees and the public yesterday was due to our aggressive actions to combat the attack,” Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne said. The state office confirmed after a day that online and email services were restored, although full service restoration might take several days.
This is not the first time government has been affected by a ransomware attack. In September 2019, a city in Massachusetts was a victim of a ransomware attack demanding a 5.3 million ransom, and in August 2019, more than 20 government entities in Texas were affected by a series of ransomware attacks.
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