Oakland, San Francisco declared a State of Emergency after a Ransomware Attack
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Oakland, San Francisco declared a State of Emergency after a Ransomware Attack

In this week's Cyber Weekly:

  1. A state of emergency
  2. High-profile attack
  3. What disruption looks like
  4. Royal Mail in Royal trouble
  5. In case you didn't know

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1.A state of emergency

Oakland, San Francisco, declared a state of emergency after it was hit with a ransomware attack last Wednesday. It was discovered that the city was running on older systems and limited resources – as is the case for many cities and municipalities. The extent of the attack is yet unknown, but services have impacted. Residents are still able to call 911, but filing a report, paying for fees and connecting with any city leaders has been “nearly impossible.” The amount of ransom has yet to be disclosed. The emergency declaration will expedite the process of obtaining equipment and activating emergency workers so the city can focus on restoring their systems. (nbcbayarea)

My thoughts: Government and related institutions continue to be targets and victims because of their inability to quickly innovate and move away from their legacy systems. How does your organization fare when it comes to innovation and how does it manage that risk? If you work for a company with outdated software, feel free to reach out and we can discuss the potential risks.

2.High-Profile Hack

Last Friday, the FBI was investigating a hack on their computer network. This breach is the latest in a series of high-profile U.S. government hacking incidents over the last decade. This time, they isolated the incident and started an investigation. It is believed that the attack was on their New York office with computers used to investigate child sexual exploitation. At this time, it is unclear when the attack happened. There are also no updates on whether any information was stolen. (reuters)

My thoughts: A high profile attack like this is NOT good. Even if the hackers didn’t steal anything, they know they can get access to seemingly well protected systems and information. Protecting society’s largest institutions are of utmost importance. Governments need to be paying more attention and providing the necessary resources to be more proactive to lower risks.

3.The outcome of a few hours of disruption

The Lufthansa group is a global aviation group composed on aviation services. Last week, an IT outage caused fight delays in 69% of flights schedule to take off that day. Another 5% of flights were cancelled all together. The airport closed for arrivals because parking spaces are running out on the ground. Several flights are turning away from the airport. The airline is looking to book passengers manually because their planning system is completely down.

The cause of the outage? The damage to fiber optic cables adjacent to the railway because a telecom company was working there.

My thoughts: When you think something like this could never happen, it does. Business disruption can come in many different ways. A disruption in business operations (short or lengthy) can often be detrimental to businesses. Luckily, they don’t have to deal with hackers. But they might have to deal with the telecom company that caused the damage. Is it their fault? Who should pay for the damages?

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4.Royal Mail in Royal Trouble

Royal Mail is still having a hard time getting back to business after the ransomware attack 4 weeks ago. They are slowly bringing back services and have started with the backlog of parcels. Apparently, there are a half a million parcels and letters stuck in limbo. Ransomware gang, LockBit, claimed responsibility for the attack. (itv)

My thoughts: Although they are “working around the clock,” this is another example of the importance of a business continuity plan. As a government entity, they don’t need to worry about profits or salaries, but if a company stops providing a service, customers may go elsewhere. It will jeopardize the business.

5. In case you didn't know...

I started Assurance IT with my childhood friend Ernesto Pellegrino in 2011. Our mission is to help 100,000 companies become cyber resilient through our services and free content. We focus on helping mid-sized organizations with data protection and data privacy. Our primary services include: endpoint management, cloud backup, DRaaS, and Microsoft 365 backup.

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