Ransomware attack news on Dawson County and Ukraine Energy Ministry


Georgia’s Dawson County Government computers were disrupted on April 23, 2018, due to a ransomware attack and law enforcement has been pressed into service to assess the situation. The news was made official by the county’s IT analyst Will Shattuck who added that the board members were working on gauging the potential damage and will come up with a conclusion by this month end.

As per the details available to Cybersecurity Insiders, the IT department of Dawson County was notified about the attack at 2:30 PM on Monday as the officials of the tax assessor’s office was unable to save their work on the computers. Pretty soon the IT department of Dawson County was flooded with calls from many departments that they could not access the database.

Will Shattuck and his team found in their investigation that the county’s exchange server along with phone and internet services was impacted by the ransomware attack.

Soon a third party cyber security firm Carver Security Systems was called into service to investigate. The firm discovered in their investigation that the attack originated in the United Kingdom and could be the work of an African hackers group. 

More details about the incident will be updated shortly.

In news related to other Ransomware attack, hackers said to have used file-encrypting malware to lock down the website content of Ukraine’s Energy Ministry. According to a news source from Kiev, the hackers are demand a ransom of 0.3 bitcoins worth $2900 to release the files for access.

Yulia Kvitko, a spokesperson for Ukraine Cyber Police confirmed that the attack was an isolated incident and no other government website has been affected.

According to a security researcher Chris Doman from Alien Vault, an attack of a similar sort was launched by the same hackers on a previous note. But they have only made about 100 pounds from their efforts.

Alien Vault believes that the hack could be the work of two hackers. The first hacker named X-Zakaria was responsible to deface the website while the other encrypted the files and added a screen pop-up mentioning ransomware and payment details.

There is no evidence with the Alien Vault that the attack was funded by Russia or the president Vladimir Putin.

Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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