The Virginia legislature is targeted by a ransomware assault, as per a statement to the Associated Press from the governor’s office. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s spokesperson, Alena Yarmosky, confirmed the attack on Virginia’s Division of Legislative Automated Systems. She said the governor had been updated on the incident, which is now affecting the General Assembly’s IT department, Virginia’s Division of Legislative Automated Systems. He directed executive agencies to assist in “assessing and responding to this ongoing situation.”
AP’s requests for comment on the attack’s specifics were not returned by Yarmosky.
According to an email sent to the state’s legislative leaders, cybercriminals hacked the state’s computers on Friday. The Associated Press revealed that the ransomware operation took down the Division of Capitol Police’s website, as well as all internal systems for bill drafting and referrals.
The attack knocked out the Assembly’s voicemail system, as well as a number of other budget-related services. Because of the attack, the Virginia Law Portal is also unavailable. The FBI is now engaged, as are other law enforcement organizations. Mandiant, a cybersecurity firm, confirmed on Twitter that they are aiding in the incident’s investigation.
Yarmosky said to The Washington Post that the ransom message received by the agencies gave little information. To stop the ransomware from spreading, most of the organization’s systems were shut down. Another media house said that only the Legislative Information System on the General Assembly website and executive branch agencies were spared.
Attacking local governments at the city, county, and state levels has brought in millions of dollars for ransomware groups. In August, experts revealed to The Washington Post that ransomware had infected at least 2,354 governments, healthcare facilities, and schools in the US by 2020.
Image: Associated Press