I have recently been presenting at events and used the image above to make a light humorous gesture at the ransomware attack in Atlanta in reference to Die Hard 4 and “hacking a city”. So lets take a look at the Atlanta attack in detail:
How bad was the Atlanta attack?
Well in short “It was not as advertised!”
- More than 140 applications hit by the attack
- Around 30% of those applications were mission critical used by either Police or Courts
- Municipal courts in Atlanta were close for several weeks during the height of the attack
- Documents stretching back decades were lost due to this attack
- Video footage in particular dashboard camera footage used to prosecute has been lost and is unrecoverable.
- Atlanta has assigned $9.5M to finance its recovery efforts
So in summary, pretty bad! The applications mentioned were down for weeks not days, the actual ransom from Sam Sam was just $51,000. An expenditure of $9.5M in recovery efforts alone is a huge amount.
I hope that Atlanta city are also budgeting for more robust security and have a root cause analysis of why this attack happened.
I have often spoke this year around the fact that ransomware is dead, yet there have been 32 reported attacks this year, some very large and public. I have said this time and time again, ransomware is a silly problem to have in the fact it can be stopped easily enough or recovered from easily enough providing some thought has gone in to it. When I see a city paying $9.5M in costs for recovery it makes me wonder what other governments are actually secure, quick fact in a ranking of secure infrastructure government ranked 16th out of a total 18 on how secure they are!
So with some ransomware impact in the front of our minds here are my predictions for the remainder of 2018 in regard to ransomware: