It is the second time for Louisiana facing ransomware. This time, they were prepared. (Image via CSO)

Ransomware cracks Louisiana government systems

On Monday, ransomware infected websites, the internet connection, motor vehicle offices, and public relations offices in Louisiana, United States (U.S). The Governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, tweeted the news through his Twitter.

As the name tells, ransomware hijacks your computer and threatens to publish the users’ data or restrict the access to the data unless a ransom is paid. Ransomware is often sent through phishing e-mails.

The Office of Technology Services (OTS), mainly operating most of the servers in Louisiana, detected the ransomware that affected some of the state servers, but not all of them. To counter the ransomware, Edwards said that he activated the cybersecurity team in Louisiana.

The OTS, following its security protocols, took the state servers down and stated that Louisiana did not pay any ransom to the cracker, and there was no data loss. However, the action impacted emails, websites, and other online applications.

No state of emergency declaration was made by the Louisiana governor because the OTS acted quickly in responding to the ransomware.

Edwards, who reelected for his second term as Louisiana’s governor on Saturday last week, said that the investigation is underway by Louisiana State Police and other agencies to discover the mastermind behind the ransomware.

Preparing cybersecurity for Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards formed Louisiana’s Cybersecurity Commission in December 2017, inviting cyber professionals and experts of the matte to help fortify Louisiana’s cybersecurity and respond to the attacks.

The Cybersecurity Commission was put under test when the first ransomware attack in Louisiana in July 2019 that affected three school districts in Sabine, Morehouse, and Ouachita. At that time, Edwards declared a state of emergency to mobilize state resources to counter the attack and accelerate the recovery efforts.