Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Application Security //

Ransomware

1/15/2019
07:00 AM
Scott Ferguson
Scott Ferguson
News Analysis-Security Now
50%
50%

Texas City Hit With Ransomware

It's back to paper and pen for a while for Del Rio, Texas, which was hit with a ransomware attack earlier this month.

Ransomware knows no geographic bounds.

On January 10, the city of Del Rio, Texas, posted on its official website that its servers were hit by a ransomware attack, which had disabled most of the municipality's IT systems.

The Management Information Services Department, Del Rio's IT department, managed to isolate the ransomware attack, but this meant cutting off the Internet connections for all the city's departments and employees could no longer log in to various systems

For now, Del Rio is back to the analogue days of paper, pen and pencil to conduct city business. The FBI has been notified of the incident and the US Secret Service is also involved. It's not clear what type of ransomware hit the city's servers.

Del Rio is also investigating what happened and what, if any, personal data from city residents might have been compromised.

"It is uncertain whether anyone's personal data has been compromised. This is uncertain as to both employee data and customer," according to the city's website.

At least some of the city's IT systems remained offline as of Monday, January 14. A notice on the town's website urged residents to pay their utility bills at city hall and they would need to pay in cash or by check.

When ransomware attacks increased in 2017, thanks to the rapid spread of WannaCry, the incidents largely focused on private businesses, which have the money and motivation to pay the ransom. At the same time, private enterprises can keep these attacks under wraps. (See Cloud Backup: How It Can Protect Against Ransomware.)

However, as Security Now noted last year, ransomware is increasingly showing up in public venues and facilities, including Baltimore, Atlanta, the Port of San Diego and the Port of Barcelona. Due to the nature of government, it's difficult, if not impossible, to keep an attack secret from the citizens these agencies serve. (See Ransomware Attacks Target Public & Government Orgs With More Frequency, Ferocity.)

Del Rio, which is the county seat of Val Verde County in Texas, has a population of about 40,500 and is home to Laughlin Air Force Base. It might not be as large as Atlanta or Baltimore, but the attack shows that ransomware can appear anywhere and cripple systems even if no money is ever paid out to the attackers.

Related posts:

— Scott Ferguson is the managing editor of Light Reading and the editor of Security Now. Follow him on Twitter @sferguson_LR.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Cloud Security Threats for 2021
Or Azarzar, CTO & Co-Founder of Lightspin,  12/3/2020
Why Vulnerable Code Is Shipped Knowingly
Chris Eng, Chief Research Officer, Veracode,  11/30/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Todays Enterprises
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Todays Enterprises
COVID-19 has created a new IT paradigm in the enterprise and a new level of cybersecurity risk. This report offers a look at how enterprises are assessing and managing cyber-risk under the new normal.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-27772
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in coders/bmp.c. An attacker who submits a crafted file that is processed by ImageMagick could trigger undefined behavior in the form of values outside the range of type `unsigned int`. This would most likely lead to an impact to application availability, but could po...
CVE-2020-27773
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in MagickCore/gem-private.h. An attacker who submits a crafted file that is processed by ImageMagick could trigger undefined behavior in the form of values outside the range of type `unsigned char` or division by zero. This would most likely lead to an impact to appli...
CVE-2020-28950
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
The installer of Kaspersky Anti-Ransomware Tool (KART) prior to KART 4.0 Patch C was vulnerable to a DLL hijacking attack that allowed an attacker to elevate privileges during installation process.
CVE-2020-27774
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in MagickCore/statistic.c. An attacker who submits a crafted file that is processed by ImageMagick could trigger undefined behavior in the form of a too large shift for 64-bit type `ssize_t`. This would most likely lead to an impact to application availability, but co...
CVE-2020-27775
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-04
A flaw was found in ImageMagick in MagickCore/quantum.h. An attacker who submits a crafted file that is processed by ImageMagick could trigger undefined behavior in the form of values outside the range of type unsigned char. This would most likely lead to an impact to application availability, but c...