Georgia State Patrol hit with ransomware attack

Posted at 10:02 AM, Jul 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-28 12:02:44-04

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    Atlanta (WGCL) — CBS46 obtained exclusive information that Georgia State Patrol has become the latest state agency hit by a ransomware attack.

According to GSP Lt. Stallings, “It was reported by an employee early yesterday morning, July 26.”

As a result, GSP has contacted the Georgia Technology Authority to help combat the attack.

A week ago Lawrenceville Police department was targeted by hackers in a cyber attack. As a result of ransomware found on the precinct’s system, police were unable to utilize email and other digital forms of communications, as well as access digital reports.

“In a ransomware attack such as this, certain data files that you use very frequently are encrypted by whoever this party is, so then you can’t access them anymore,” explained Lieutenant Jake Parker with the Lawrenceville Police department.

Prior to that cyber attack, Georgia court systems were impacted. A spokesperson for the state said hackers used ransomware to hold several state court systems hostage.

Cyber expert Greg Evans told CBS46 the hackers could have potentially been inside the court’s system well before the ransomware was discovered.

“If a hacker then takes those IP logs and deletes them or encrypts them, then you can’t get to them,” Evans said.

Since the city of Atlanta’s March 2018 cyber attack, which crippled the city’s computer system and caused outages on customer-facing applications, agencies and municipalities have experienced various ransomware and hacker-related events.

The public should see little to no direct affect as a result of this cyber attack.

GSP has confirmed that while response time may be slightly delayed, there are other channels of communication allowing them to still respond to accident scenes and perform other duties.

Lt. Stallings told CBS46 Melissa Stern, “if an agency is calling for Georgia State Patrol’s assistance, so if they have a crash they would like us to investigate, just as it happened before we had laptop computers, those 911 centers and those agencies contact the Georgia State Patrol, our motor carrier via our communication centers, and they dispatch it over the radio just like we always have.”

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