Ransomware Attacks Hit U.S. Coast Guard, Force Layoffs at Arkansas Company

Ransomware Attacks Hit U.S. Coast Guard, Force Layoffs at Arkansas Company

By Chris Brunau

Two separate ransomware incidents have made headlines for all the wrong reasons.

The United States Coast Guard recently published an alert a Ryuk ransomware attack disabled the IT network of a Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) regulated facility.

According to the Coast Guard, the ransomware affected systems that monitor and control cargo transfer. The ransomware infiltrated the network through a phishing email and encrypted network files forcing the facility to shut down operations for over a day.

In another unrelated ransomware incident, a telemarketing agency fired 300 employees days before Christmas

Two months ago, a ransomware attack targeted the company’s servers and they haven’t recovered despite paying the ransom demand. The company has suspended operations as they deal with the aftermath of the attack and work to bring systems back online and recoup their losses.

In response to the recent increase in ransomware attacks, the FBI released some cyber-defense best practices:

  • Regularly back up data and verify its integrity. Ensure backups are not connected to the computers and networks they are backing up. For example, physically store them offline. Backups are critical in ransomware; if you are infected, backups may be the best way to recover your critical data.
  • Focus on awareness and training. Since end-users are targeted, employees should be made aware of the threat of ransomware and how it is delivered and trained on information security principles and techniques.
  • Patch the operating system, software, and firmware on devices. All endpoints should be patched as vulnerabilities are discovered. This can be made easier through a centralized patch management system.
  • Ensure antivirus and anti-malware solutions are set to automatically update and that regular scans are conducted.

Read more about some of our tips to help businesses avoid ransomware. To learn more about the current landscape of ransomware and how you can avoid falling victim, check out Datto's State of the Channel Ransomware Report.

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