Tarrant County was the most recent victim of ransomware…
Tarrant County, the third largest county in Texas, was the most recent victim of ransomware. Luckily the county reacted quickly and damages were minimized. The county noticed an issue when an employee noticed their files were locked. An emergency computer incident team was able to isolate the employees files, to ensure the ransomware did not spread throughout the network. They then restored the files and had everything back up and running as normal within an hour.
It is not being disclosed what type of ransomware attacked Tarrant County. It has been reported by Star Telegram that the county did not pay any form of ransom to recover the files.
The county certainly went about the attack in the most appropriate way possible. The response team was fast acting, and due to their quick response the negative results were mitigated.
If you find yourself victim to a ransomware attack, we encourage you to follow these five steps:
- Do not pay the ransom – If you do, you’re just giving the hackers a reason to keep hacking. Use your back up files to restore your systems. Again, don’t pay!!
- Inform the FBI – By informing the FBI they can investigate to potentially bring legal action against the hacker. All cyber criminal activity should be reported to the federal IC3 agency. You can file a complaint with them here.
- Notify your current security software company – You also MUST inform your security software company. If they didn’t know they missed a malicious attack, they cannot stop it in the future. Also, many anti-virus software companies share their blacklist, or the list of known bad files. So by sharing it with your software company, they then share it with others; saving thousands of people from falling victim to the same attack that just got you.
- Educate yourselves and your employees – Many times we attend one training, or listen to one webinar and consider ourselves educated on the matter. This cannot be further from the truth. Continued education on current cyber security threats is imperative. We recommend our friends at KnowBe4 for both personal and enterprise training on cyber security. As always, all PC Matic home security subscribers are offered a free cyber security training through KnowBe4 as well.
- Reevaluate your security software protection – If your security software failed you, perhaps you should look for an alternative security option. The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) strongly advises using a whitelist security technology. For personal uses, PC Matic home protection offers superior protection with advanced whitelisting technology. For enterprise use, there is PC Matic Pro, which offers advanced security protection with proprietary whitelisting technology.
We have also generated an interactive map that includes all of the ransomware attacks within the United States that have occurred this year.