FBI: Ransomware attacks are piling up the pressure on public services

Ransomware attacks are creating risks to safety by disrupting public services including utilities, emergency services and education, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned. 

The alert says that local government agencies are attractive targets for cyber criminals to hit with ransomware, because they oversee critical services on which the public depends. 

Ransomware attacks against local governments have caused disruptions to healthcare, emergency services and safety operations, and have seen sensitive personal data stolen by hackers, putting individuals at further risk of fraud and cybercrime. The attacks targeting local services show no signs of slowing down. 

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“In the next year, local US government agencies almost certainly will continue to experience ransomware attacks, particularly as malware deployment and targeting tactics evolve, further endangering public health and safety, and resulting in significant financial liabilities,” warned the alert, which details how several ransomware attacks over the past year have caused disruption to vital everyday services. 

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For example, the FBI details how a January 2022 ransomware attack forced a US county to take computer systems offline, close public offices and obliged it to run emergency response operations on backup

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