#CyberHeadlines: Madison County Ransomware
Madison County pays up on their ransomware
November 5th 2016, Madison County, Indiana, was forced to revert back to a time of pre-internet, paper-and-pen functioning when their systems were hacked with ransomware. Luckily, their phone network was not compromised leaving 911 available for emergencies. They were also relieved to find that their voting data had also foregone compromise. However, they could not access any information kept on their computers, they could not dispatch via computers, they could not check inmates into the local jail and found a litany of other potentially harmful obstacles.
So now, you might be asking, what is ransomware? Ransomware is when a hacker custom encrypts files or locks down a system until a ransom is paid- usually in the form of bitcoins. Ransomware is one of the most challenging attacks to deal with as it is unlikely you’ll be able to reverse the effects once deployed. Many, as Madison County eventually did, just end up paying up. What’s worse, if the problem is not patched and taken care of, some ransomware is ignited on a reoccurring basis. The amount of the ransom was not released, but County Commissioner John Richwine claims the amount was less than most would anticipate and though records were not lost, officials “cannot access the data”.