19.5M California Voter Records Breached After Ransomware Infection

Sacramento Bee Ransomware Infection Exposes Millions

An unknown ransomware variant infected the Sacramento Bee database on towards the end of January.  The ransomware infection was able to execute because the newspaper’s firewall did not turn back on after updates took place.  It is expected systems were vulnerable for two weeks; although, it remains unclear how long the malware was on the systems.  However, employees noticed a ransom demand on January 29th, so it is expected the ransomware infection began just prior to that date.

Newspaper officials stated they have no intention to pay the ransom demands.

Beyond encrypting the systems, the attack exposed 19.5 million voter records, and 53,000 records of current and past newspaper subscribers.  The information released includes names, birthdates, political affiliations and phone numbers.  Although some are relieved more personal details were not released, such as state ID numbers or social security numbers — hackers can still have a heyday with the information exposed.

Other Ransomware Attacks

For a list of ransomware attacks that have already taken place in 2018, you may click here. We have also created a map, see below, of the ransomware attacks that have hit the public sector in the U.S.

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