Cybercriminals hold computer files hostage for ransom
Source: Governing the States and Localities
Tod Newcombe, writing for Governing the States and Localities, points out the growing threat of cybercrime and just how vulnerable public entitites are to it.
As an example, Mr. Newcombe reports that “In June 2014, an officer with the Durham, N.H., Police Department opened what she thought was a digital fax attached to an email about an investigation she was working on. Instead, it was a type of malicious software that infected files throughout the entire police department’s network of computers. By the next morning, the entire system was in serious trouble.
“The officer had accidentally downloaded an extortion malware program popularly known as ransomware. It encrypts a computer’s files (meaning they can only be accessed by the cybercriminals) and then sends victims a digital ransom note, demanding money to decrypt them.”
The full text of Mr. Newcombe’s article is posted on the Internet at: