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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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.
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