Ransomware attacks have grown in number in recent months, but their targets remained predominantly healthcare. That has now changed. This information came to us from ABC News in their article, “City of Atlanta computer network hit by ransomware attack.”

According to some city officials, the city of Atlanta’s computer network was the victim of a ransomware cyber attack this past week. An outage affecting various internal and customer-facing applications, which included the encryption of some city data, did not affect the public safety department, water department or Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security are investigating the cyber attack.

Ransomware is a subset of malware in which the data on a victim’s computer is locked, typically by encryption, and payment is demanded before the ransomed data is decrypted and access returned to the victim. Payment is often demanded in a virtual currency, such as bitcoin to prevent the identification of the criminal.

Melody K. Smith

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