Midlothian Police Department pays $500 ransom following cyber attack

Records show that a suburban Chicago police department paid a $500 ransom to regain access to a computer that had been infected by ransomware in January.

According to Calvin Harden Jr, a local IT vendor, specific files on only one computer were affected when someone at the Midlothian Police Department opened an infected email, inadvertently downloading the Cryptoware virus, which then shut down the computer.

The Midlothian Police Department paid the anonymous hacker using Bitcoin to regain access to its files.

This isn’t the first time that law enforcement agencies have been affected by cyber crime: in 2013, cyber criminals used CryptoLocker to infiltrate and lock more than 12,000 computers, including some belonging to Swansea Police Department in Massachusetts, which handed over $750 to unlock its files.

The importance of staff awareness

As ever, IT Governance advises caution when opening emails or files from unknown sources. Phishing attacks as well as malware infections frequently result from such carelessness. If you’re concerned about your employees’ susceptibility to such attacks, we recommend you employ our Information Security & ISO 27001 Staff Awareness E-Learning Course.

ISO 27001 is the international standard for information security, and sets out the best-practice requirements of an information security management system (ISMS). An ISO 27001-compliant ISMS allows all organizations to implement and maintain a risk-based approach to information security.

For more information on ISO 27001, and how IT Governance can help your organization implement international cybersecurity best practices at a pace and for a budget that suits you, click here >>

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