FBI issues warning of ransomware attacks on local government

The FBI has warned local government entities of ransomware attacks disrupting operational services.

According to Security Week, the FBI said the attacks were causing public safety risks and causing financial losses.

The FBI underlined the significance of the attacks in a private industry notification, citing the public’s dependency on such services overseen by local governments including critical utilities, education and emergency services.

The FBI noted that local government entities within the government facilities sector represented the second most targeted group following academia based on victim incident reporting throughout last year.

The Bureau added, “Last year, smaller counties and municipalities represented the majority of victimised local government agencies, “likely indicative of their cybersecurity resource and budget limitations.”

A recent independently-conducted survey found that local governments were the least able to stop ransomware attacks and recover from backups, and often pay the ransom to get the data back.

The FBI said, “In the next year, local US government agencies almost certainly will continue to experience ransomware attacks, particularly as malware deployment and targeting tactics evolve, further endangering public health and safety, and resulting in significant financial liabilities.”

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