CYBER24 episode 51

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One topic has dominated our podcast the past few weeks, and for good reason. Ransomware attacks have more than doubled this year and the majority of them have been targeted at state and local government. 

According to a study by Barracuda Networks, 55 ransomware attacks targeted state and local governments from January to July of this year – and that doesn’t take into account the 22 agencies hit in Texas. The study showed nearly two-thirds of all ransomware attacks were aimed at these smaller governing bodies. According to the story by The Hill, “The report also revealed that small towns are more likely to be targeted by ransomware attacks, with 45 percent of the municipalities attacked in 2019 having fewer than 50,000 residents, while a further 24 percent of the cities attacked had less  (FEWER) than 15,000 residents.”

Ransomware has been so successful, that one group of hackers announced it was retiring from the industry after raking in some $2 billion. 

In this week’s pod, we talk with our expert panel about why these targets are irresistible to hackers, why paying the ransom only makes the problem worse and what questions your business or city should be asking to make sure you aren’t next. 



Paul Whittier – Sophos

Matt Sorensen – Secuvant

Anthony Booyse – Sophos

Articles reference in this episode

The Hill – Report finds majority of 2019 ransomware attacks have targeted state and local governments

ZDNet – Cybercrime: Ransomware attacks have more than doubled this year