How One Texas County Stopped a Ransomware Attack, ISI’s Avi Rubin, WSJ

August 30, 2019


“Ransomware has been around for quite some time,” said Avi Rubin, professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins University and technical director of the Information Security Institute. “But recently, the big targets have been municipalities and local governments because they tend to have lower IT budgets than they should.”

Malwarebytes, a company that specializes in cybersecurity, said their government clients experienced seven times more ransomware attacks so far in 2019 than in all of 2018. Attacks against businesses more than tripled this year compared with last year, according to customer detection data.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software, known as malware, “designed to deny access to a computer system or data until a ransom is paid,” according to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, a division of Homeland Security. It is unleashed more often than not through email attachments or links that place malware on a device, and then the broader system. After encrypting files, hackers usually demand payment in the form of bitcoin in exchange for files and systems.


Read more at WSJ.


JHU Information Security Institute