2017 Comes to a Close, But Ransomware is Still Booming

New Ransomware Attacks Target Schools and Public Municipalities

In the last week, two school districts have released statements confirming ransomware infections throughout their systems.  The first, Proctor School District, located in Duluth, Minnesota, reported the infection impacted middle school and high school computers that were left on over the weekend.  The ransomware variant that infiltrated Proctor is not being released.  At the time of the public statement, a ransom demand had not been sent to the school.  However, the school’s superintendent John Engelking reported regardless, they would not be paying a ransom demand.  Instead, the school has hired a third-party forensics team and plans to restore any impacted documents using backups.

Another attack that took place last week, targeted Jerome School District, located in Idaho.  This ransomware variant took out the school’s phone and internet systems.  Similar to Proctor, they chose not to pay the ransom demand, and instead restore the encrypted files using their available backups.  Within hours, the phones were somewhat usable, allowing the school to make outbound calls.  However, they were still working on getting incoming calls to come through.  The district’s IT director, Chris Gibson stated to KMVT News,

“We’ll have to rebuild every single teacher computer, every single student computer from scratch and restore all of their files from backup so that takes an inordinate amount of time.”

The third attack targeted the behavioral health and recovery services for Stanislaus County in California.  The infected network has been shut down, and services are still taking place at both the behavioral health and recovery service offices.  It is unclear if the county intents to pay the ransom demand, which was not disclosed in the public announcement.  The ransomware variant also remains unknown.

Other Ransomware Attacks

To see a full list of ransomware attacks that have taken place in 2017, you can click here. We have also created a map, see below, of the ransomware attacks that have taken place in the U.S.

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