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City of Del Rio Hit by Ransomware Attack

Another ransomware attack has made headlines with the city of Del Rio, Texas, announcing on January 10, 2019, that the servers at City Hall were disabled, according to a press release.

“The first step in addressing the issue, was for the City’s M.I.S. (Management Information Services) Department to isolate the ransomware which necessitated turning off the internet connection for all city departments and not allowing employees to log into the system. Due to this, transactions at City Hall are being done manually with paper.”

As has been the alternative method of communication for many organizations that have been impacted by cyber-attacks, Del Rio turned to social media, using Facebook to inform citizens of alternative payment options available to them.

After reporting the attack to the FBI, Del Rio was referred to the Secret Service. “The City is diligently working on finding the best solution to resolve this situation and restore the system. We ask the public to be patient with us as we may be slower in processing requests at this time,” the press release said.

At the time of writing this, the website for the city of Del Rio was up and running, though there is no word on the full scope of the attack. Infosecurity has contacted the city, and this story will be updated with any response.

“The growing number of exploit kits and malware at their disposal is emboldening malicious actors to attack organizations with a rich trove of consumer data,” said Mike Bittner, digital security and operations manager at The Media Trust.

“Government organizations, in particular city governments, are prime targets; they not only process a lot of citizen and business data but are also less secure as tighter budgets severely limit what IT updates they can carry out. Bad actors have no doubt put the 89,000 local governments across the country in their cross hairs. It is just a matter of time before many of these governments realize they’ve been hacked.”

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