Multitude of Ransomware Attacks Cause Lawmakers to Take Notice
Lawmakers are working to find a solution that will help counter ransomware attacks, which are affecting school districts and municipal governments.
- By Sherelle Black
- Sep 13, 2019
Ransomware attacks are happening so often that senators have now made it one of their top priorities to find a solution that will help counter the threats.
In the last month, there have been several school districts across the country that have been impacted by ransomware attacks. Some of those districts were located in New York, Arizona and Virginia.
In those attacks, a hacker takes over a network and demands the district or entity pay them money in order for them to regain access.
Some of those districts had to delay school as a result of the attack. While others paid the hackers.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency after several districts were targeted by ransomware in July, reported The Hill.
“It’s a top priority of the committee, and we’ll continue oversight, we’ll continue looking at the issue. I can’t tell you anything specific we are going to do, though,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, to the outlet.
There have been several bills introduced that would help local and state governments in the case of a ransomware attack.
One bill would make the Department of Homeland Security create a guide to help the governments defend and recover from a cyberattack.
However, The Hill reported there is a lack of urgency from lawmakers with elections and a government shutdown looming on Oct. 1 if the Democrats and Republicans cannot come to terms on the budget.
Michael Chertoff, who served under former President George W. Bush, told The Hill state and local government employees need to know how to identify potential cyber threats.
“One thing that we could be doing would be to help localities do some basic things to secure their infrastructure, including things like for example having backups for data, it’s not going to eliminate the problem, but it’s going to reduce the issue,” Chertoff said.
Sherelle Black is a Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.