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Emergency declared by Louisiana Governor after ransomware attack


Emergency Declaration was issued on Jul. 24, 2019, by John Bel Edwards, the Louisiana Governor, after ransomware attacks impacted three schools. The ransomware infections impacted school districts of 3 North Louisiana parishes -- Morehouse, Sabine, and Ouachita.


"There have been severe, intentional cybersecurity breaches in the Sabine, Morehouse, and City of Monroe school systems that may potentially compromise other public and private entities throughout the State of Louisiana," the declaration read.


IT networks were down at all the three school districts, as well as the files were encrypted and as a result are inaccessible, reported the local media outlets.


An investigation was launched in order to determine the impact and source of the attacks. The Louisiana Governor by signing Emergency Declaration is making available the state resources to the impacted schools. This includes help from the cybersecurity experts of Louisiana National Guard, the Office of Technology Services, Louisiana State Police, GOHSEP (Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness), and others. The GOHSEP has activated their Crisis Action Team as well as Emergency Services Function-17 in order to respond to these attacks.


The Louisiana state is also working closely with FBI, state agencies as well as higher education partners. Officials of the state hope that more IT expertise will assist in speeding up recovery process, so the schools can restart their activity as well as preparations for upcoming school year.


The Louisiana Governor was successful in rolling out a coordinated response for ransomware infections in North Louisiana schools because he has previously established a Cybersecurity Commission, who will assemble as well as coordinate the response teams whenever a cyber-attack takes place. Edwards created this Cybersecurity Commission in Dec. 2017. It is the same year when the three ransomware outbreaks (i.e. WannaCry, Bad Rabbit, and NotPetya) had caused havoc all over the globe, including Louisiana.


As reported by CNN, Edwards said that "this is exactly why we established the Cyber Security Commission, focused on preparing for, responding to and preventing cybersecurity attacks, and we are well-positioned to assist local governments as they battle this current threat".


The emergency declaration will stay in effect till Aug. 21, 2019, or till recovery process at the impacted school districts gets completed.


» SPAMfighter News - 8/13/2019

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