The city of Cornelius in North Carolina has joined the long list of victims of merciless extortionists
State law prohibits the payment of ransoms, but for some reason this does not stop the attackers.
The city of Cornelius in North Carolina is facing service disruption due to a ransomware attack this week.
Cornelius is a small town of about 32,000 people located along Lake Norman. Representatives of local authorities said that on the evening of July 11, they discovered a cyber incident that turned out to be a ransomware attack.
“The Process Operations Department immediately disconnected all computers from the network in order to contain the threat and prevent its spread,” the city administration said in a statement. They also added that the department is actively collaborating with the North Carolina Local Government Information Systems Association and the Mecklenburg County Office of Emergency Management.
It is expected that all those affected will be thoroughly checked, cleaned, and only after that they will return to operation to ensure the normal operation of the city’s infrastructure.
The authorities also added that some services provided by the city may be delayed or temporarily unavailable until all systems are fully restored.
“The services most affected will be those that are delivered over the phone or those that require employees to access files located on our servers. Emergency services such as 911 are still available,” said Maylin Joyner, the city’s communications manager.
Despite Joyner’s assurances, the Cornelius Police Department said the main police telephone line was currently down due to the attack. However, law enforcement officials have provided alternative phone numbers for those who need to call the police directly.
Joyner declined to name the specific ransomware group behind the attack, nor did she say if the city plans to pay the ransom, although that should be pretty obvious.
Last year, North Carolina became the first US state to ban all government entities from paying ransomware ransomware attacks.
When the law was passed last year, some feared it would serve as an additional pressure point for extortionists to blackmail their victims, allowing organizations to threaten not only with stolen data leaks, but also with malicious public defamation to pay a ransom in violation of state law.
Other experts wondered if groups of hacker groups would specifically target state organizations in North Carolina after the law was passed as a warning to other states not to enact similar bans. Although this law should definitely have a positive effect in the future.
Metropolitan networks across the US continue to be attractive targets for ransomware gangs. Over the past few months, our website alone has published dozens of news about the consequences of certain cyber attacks by cybercriminals. Auckland , Dallas , Lowell , Augusta And Hayward are just some of the publicly reported cases. Who knows, there may actually be many, many more.