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Ransomware Takes Out Several Public Services in North Carolina

Ransomware Infects North Carolina Municipality

Over the weekend, the Onslow Water and Sewer Authority (ONWASA), located in Jacksonville, North Carolina, was hit with a ransomware attack.  The infection crippled their internal computer system, including servers and personal computers.

The ransomware variant has been reported as the RYUK virus.  Although it successfully encrypted several of the databases, there is no concern customer data was compromised.  The cyber attack also did not impact the public’s water supply.  All offices are also still able to take payments of one sort or another.  However, multiple other areas of ONWASA were compromised.  Currently, service orders, account creation, connections, disconnections, development review, backflow program, engineering, and human resources will utilize manual processes until the computer systems are restored.  Email services have also been interrupted for most of the utility.

ONWASA is working with the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the state of North Carolina,  and several technology security companies in response to the attack.

Regarding paying the ransom demands, utility officials reported to WNCT news,
 “[ransom payments] would be used to fund criminal, and perhaps terrorist activities in other countries. Furthermore, there is no expectation that payment of a ransom would forestall repeat attacks. ONWASA will not negotiate with criminals nor bow to their demands. The FBI agrees that ransoms should not be paid. ONWASA will undertake the painstaking process of rebuilding its databases and computer systems from the ground up.”

Other Ransomware Attacks

For a list of ransomware attacks that have already taken place in 2018, you may 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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