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Ransomware completely shuts down Ohio town government



In another interesting example of what happens when you don’t manage your backups correctly the Licking County government offices, including the police force, have been shut down by ransomeware. Although details are sparse, it’s clear that someone in the office caught a bug in a phishing scam or by downloading it and now their servers are locked up.

Wrote Kent Mallett of the Newark Advocate:

The virus, accompanied by a financial demand, is labeled ransomware, which has hit several local governments in Ohio and was the subject of a warning from the state auditor last summer.

All county offices remain open, but online access and landline telephones are not available for those on the county system. The shutdown is expected to continue at least the rest of the week.

The county government offices including 911 dispatch currently has to work without computers or office phones. “The public can still call 911 for emergency police, fire or medical response,” wrote Mallett.

These sorts of attacks are becoming more commonplace and, as mentioned before, can be avoided with good backup practices. Sadly not every computer in every hospital, county office, or police department is connected to a nicely-journaled and spacious hard drive so these things will happen more and more. Luckily it improves cryptocurrency popularity as these small office finally give up and buy bitcoin to pay their ransom.

County Auditor Mike Smith saw the bright side.

“Apparently, our clock still works,” he told the Newark Advocate.



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