The City of Washington Is Still Down After Ransomware Corrupted Its Network

Ransomware Hit Another Municipality, This Time Its the City of Washington

On May 5, 2019, the city of Washington, located in Pennsylvania, became the latest municipality to be victimized by ransomware. The City’s networks were infected with an unknown ransomware variant that has left their systems down for a week post-infection.

City Councilman, Joseph Manning stated to WPXI News,

“It’s just the world we live in.”

He isn’t wrong. U.S. cities have been the latest target for ransomware hackers. Over the last few weeks, various U.S. counties have been infected with this malicious software, including Howard County of Indiana, Imperial County in California, and Potter County located in Texas. Although these attacks are becoming more frequent, it does not mean the public has to co-exist with the threat. Claiming it is “just the world we live in” makes it seem like there is no solution. That is not the case.

Instead of making the assumption there isn’t anything anyone can do to actively stop ransomware, public municipalities, businesses, and even home users, need to be proactive. To actively thwart cyber attacks
they must implement the following cyber security measures:

  • Deploy a security solution that uses application whitelisting as its primary method of malware detection
  • Ensure all third-party applications and the device’s operating system are updated
  • Complete cyber security training (**PC Matic customers receive free cyber security training through KnowBe4 – Learn more now!)
  • Disable any unused RDP ports
  • Be on the lookout for malicious emails — if you don’t recognize the sender, or aren’t expecting the email, delete it

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