Ransomware Goons Had a Great 2019, With At Least 948 Reported Attacks
Ransomware operators are closing out a year of extorting local governments, hospitals, and schools across the country with a bang, with at least four more U.S. cities falling victim to sophisticated scams this month alone and a recent report tallying the total number of incidents at nearly a thousand.
In Pensacola, Florida, a cyberattack using the Maze malware and demanding $1 million in ransom forced city officials to disconnect many machines from the network to prevent the infection from spreading. Florida Department of Law Enforcement officials said that the attack appeared to involve the same Maze malware as a separate incident targeting security company Allied Universal in November.
New Orleans declared a state of emergency on Dec. 13 after being hit hard with another variant called Ryuk, affecting at least 4,000 city computers. On Thursday, Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced that damages had exceeded the city’s $3 million cyber insurance policy and that New Orleans would be increasing its coverage to $10 million next year.