Two separate malicious emails were sent to Howard County employees in November. However, it was not the emails that were dangerous, but the “tracking slips” they downloaded within the malicious emails that led to a massive ransomware infection. The Kokomo Perspective reported several employees were guilty of downloading these malicious attachments. Post infection, over 33,000 files were left encrypted. The county was able to restore their files with the backups they had available; however this of course took time.
Moving forward, Howard County will begin training their employees on cyber security threats, as well as boosting their current security software solution.
The ransomware variant that took down the county’s systems has not been disclosed. The amount of the ransom demand was also not reported.
To see a full list of ransomware attacks that have taken place, you can click here. We have also created a ransomware map, see below, of the ransomware attacks that have taken place in the U.S. this year.