Bernard C. "Jack" Young, the Mayor of Baltimore, US said a group of cyber attackers targeted city's internet servers on Tuesday, May 7 and forced the Government's IT teams to shut down most of their computer servers.
As per the reports, it was a ransomware virus, called RobbinHood, which caused the data breach but the officials claimed that the attack did not harm critical public safety systems.
On Wednesday, May 8, the mayor and city IT director Frank Johnson told the media about the anonymous cyber attack, but could not confirm how long the clean-up process will take and when the city servers will be back to function regularly.
As reported by Fox News, Young said that it's not about what kind of system is in use, as the hackers always find a chance to infect any of them.
After the detection of the cyber-attack on the city's computer servers, thousands of the employees were asked to unplug their computers. Some of the departments sent their employees home on the day of the incident as the IT team tried to stop the virus to spread throughout the network.
This is not the first time that hackers targeted Baltimore city, as in 2018 March, it faced another ransomware attack which hit the city's 911 dispatch system that caused 17-hour shutdown of automated emergency dispatching. Then, officials in Baltimore stated that the cybercriminals took control over city's network after an "internal change to the firewall" made by a technician, while troubleshooting.
As reported by Fox News, Johnson then said, "We were able to successfully isolate the threat and ensure that no harm was done to other servers or systems across the city's network."
As per cybersecurity company Malwarebytes, there are three main types of ransomware, such as Scareware, Screen lockers and Encrypting ransomware. Their report also showed that "ransomware attacks are still focused on western markets, with the UK, US, and Canada ranking as the top three countries targeted."
"As emerging markets in Asia and South America ramp up on economic growth, expect to see an increase in ransomware (and other forms of malware) there as well," the report added.