The city of New Orleans is planning to increase its cyber insurance policy to $10 million following a Dec. 13 ransomware attack that will likely exceed its current $3 million policy, Mayor LaToya Cantrell confirmed this week. She did not give an estimate of the attack’s cost.
City employees first detected suspicious activity early that Friday morning, IT director Kimberly LaGrue told news station 4WWL. Officials say they did not receive a ransom request and all data can be recovered. They did not mention a time frame; however, officials took roughly 4,000 computers offline and are in the process of cleaning them up and investigating them. New Orleans’ Fire Department, Police Department, and Emergency Medical Services are running.
The New Orleans attack reportedly started with a phishing email. It’s believed the Ryuk strain of ransomware was used in this attack, Bleeping Computer reports, citing files uploaded to VirusTotal. The day after the incident, memory dumps of suspicious files were uploaded containing several references to both Ryuk and the city of New Orleans.
This attack arrived in the midst of a ransomware crisis for the United States, where 11 new school districts have been targeted since October, and municipalities including New Orleans and Pensacola are recovering from attacks. A total of 72 US school districts or educational institutions have suffered ransomware campaigns. Up to 1,040 schools may have been hit.
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