The city of Allentown, Pennsylvania is struggling to remediate a recent malware attack that’s said to cost the city nearly $1 million to mitigate.
The city’s local newspaper The Morning Call reported that the city’s critical systems were hit by malware known as Emotet, impacting both financial and public safety operations. According to Mayor Ed Pawlowski, Allentown’s finance department can’t complete any external banking transactions, the city’s 185 surveillance cameras were impacted, and the police department is not able to access the Pennsylvania State Police databases.
The malware spread rapidly around the city’s networks, self-replicating and harvesting city employees’ credentials along the way.
The virus impacted all of the city’s systems running Microsoft, so the city has hired Microsoft engineers to handle emergency response to the incident, all for an initial cost of $185,000. While the virus has successfully been contained, Pawlowski claims it will cost between $800,000 and $900,000 to fully remediate the damage from the incident.
Pawlowski added that the virus managed to evade the city’s extensive antivirus and firewall systems. “This particular virus is actually unlike any other virus. It has intelligence built in, so it keeps adapting to our systems, thus evading any firewalls that we have up,” he explained.
NNT suggests using continuous compliance assessment with real-time breach detection to guarantee systems are secure and remain secure 24/7.
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