The City of Atlanta is still scrambling to get operations back up and running business as usual after its computer network was hit by a major ransomware attack almost one month ago.
The incident occurred March 23 at 5:40 AM when hackers encrypted the city’s data and caused an outage affecting several internal and customer facing applications, including applications used by Atlanta residents to pay bill and access court information.
Hackers demanded the equivalent of over $50,000 in Bitcoin back when they executed the attack, but it’s unclear if any money was exchanged.
One month later, the city has been forced to pay over $2.7 million for eight emergency contracts to help remediate the damage. One contract with SecureWorks cost the city nearly $600,000 to investigate and mitigate the initial damage caused by the attack, and two others $1 million contracts have been made with private companies to help with the city’s IT and court systems.
The city’s law department also struck a $600,000 contract with Ernst & Young and have also received services from Edelman PR’s expertise to help mitigate the reputational damage done by this attack.
It’s painfully obvious that the city was very unprepared for the aftermath that follows suffering a ransomware attack. This incident should act as a lesson to any organizations not regularly testing the incident response plans they should have in place.
Defending against this extremely threatening class of malware should be a top priority for any organization, as hackers continue to receive payouts from companies desperate to save their data when evidence shows that hackers don’t always unencrypt the data after the ransom is paid.
To help protect your organization from this growing threat, NNT has developed the NNT Ransomware Mitigation Kit. Request to download your free mitigation kit today and receive a comprehensive set of system hardening templates that will ensure all your systems retain the most appropriate checks designed to hardened your IT environment and protect you from ransomware.