Police department loses years of evidence due to ransomware

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Ransomware strikes again as police department loses years of evidence due to ransomware. Ransomware attacks are common however this outcome doesn’t have to be common.

Unfortunately, the Cockrell Hill Police Department was infected with ransomware and was lost access to video evidence, digital documents, and other data.  Some are claiming the police network was attacked by cybercriminal hackers however the police chief claims it was not hackers, It was a computer-generated ransom demand.

According to the FBI’s Cyber Division, the malware originated from Russia or Ukraine. Access to the network was gained after someone within the police department clicked on a cloned email made to look like it was sent from a department email address.

Should you pay the ransomware demands for the encryption key?

The cyber criminals demanded $4,000 in Bitcoin for the encryption key however the FBI and police department decided to not pay the ransom demand. The FBI understands paying does not guarantee you will get your information back or the encryption keys don’t work.

I do not want to pay the ransom, now what?

The police department decided to wipe the infected computers and had to accept that they lost the data. They did have a data backup process however their automatic backup started after the infection. According to the police department, no critical information was lost however many criminal defense lawyers are taking notice.

Many IT security experts have stated that experienced cybercriminal hackers are known to target places with valuable private data such as hospitals, schools, and law enforcement.

A police department loses years of evidence due to ransomware, however, this does not mean it must happen to your business. Build a solid disaster recovery plan, use a proactive network management strategy and train your employees.

Our complimentary network and security assessment can show you the risk of ransomware and if your disaster recovery strategy works properly.