The United States has been hit by an unprecedented and unrelenting barrage of ransomware attacks which impacted a total of 948 government agencies, educational establishments and healthcare providers in 2019. Later, when the cybercriminals targeted the City of New Orleans on Friday, December 13, Mayor LaToya Cantrell declared a state of emergency.

US cyberattacks

The cyberattacks on US organizations include 103 federal, state and municipal governments and agencies, as well as 759 healthcare providers and 86 universities, colleges and school districts, with operations at up to 1224 individual schools.

The CTO at Emsisoft, Fabian Wosar said, "The fact that there were no confirmed ransomware-related deaths in 2019 is simply due to good luck, and that luck may not continue into 2020. Governments and the health and education sectors must do better. "

The Bleepingcomputer reported that the hackers behind REvil Ransomware, also known as Sodinokibi, recently stated that they will use stolen files and data to pressurize the victims to pay ransoms.

Hackers target New Orleans

Cyber Security
Cybersecurity Pixabay

Suspicious activities and phishing attempts were detected on New Orleans' network around 5 am on Friday, said chief information officer Kim LaGrue. Around 11 am on the same day the technician investigators found a cybersecurity incident.

New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness stated on Twitter that the city's information technology department has started powering down servers and city computers as a precaution. But the point is, even though the authority has detected ransomware, no demand was made by the attackers, added Mayor Cantrell.

However, there is no report on data theft of any employee during the phishing attempt, assistance from the Louisiana State Police, Louisiana National Guard, the FBI and Secret Service is currently investigating this cybersecurity incident.

What needs to be done?