Over the weekend, the automated dispatch system of 911 in Baltimore sustained a cyber attack, which resulted into 17 hour shutdown of the automatic emergency services. Following the attack, Baltimore’s mayor’s office briefed media about the attack and the administration’s efforts to restore the system.
However, the nature of the cyber attack was not disclosed in the briefing. But yesterday, chief information officer of the mayor’s office issued a statement in which the cyber attack was called a ransomware attempt from the perpetrators. He also assured that the administration had limited the scope of the security breach by removing the ransomware.
All the other systems and networks across the city remained unharmed from this ransomware attack. Nevertheless, it has exposed the vulnerability of public networks. From early Sunday into Monday night, the automatic emergency dispatch system remained offline. Authorities had to transfer crucial emergency services to manual mode for that transitory period.
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The information officer also made it clear that the personal information of any citizen didn’t get comprised in the attack. According to him, the attack became possible because a port left open in the Firewall of the system when the city’s IT team was trying to troubleshoot some other communicational glitch.
It is important to note that the Baltimore’s emergency services got hit by the ransomware attack when the city of Atlanta was already reeling from a severe cyber attack. An organization focused on resolving the issues of 911 services, National Emergency Association, has raised the concern regarding the digital security of emergency services. According to the CEO of this Virginia-based company, disruption of public access to emergency services is an issue that must be resolved promptly.
Experts are of the thought that ransomware perpetrators know that public networks are very vulnerable to their cryptovirology mischief. For that reason, we have seen Atlanta and Baltimore ransomware attacks within couple of days.
In the wake of a ransomware attack on critical data, victims have only these options:
- Remove the ransomware
- Restore ransomware files
- Or worse, pay a hefty ransom to get back the encrypted data
For assistance on file recovery, please contact MonsterCloud Cyber Security experts for a professional ransomware removal.