Home Ransomware 2018 Atlanta Ransomware Brought Government Systems to a Hold
2018 Atlanta Ransomware Brought Government Systems to a Hold 2018 Atlanta Ransomware Brought Government Systems to a Hold
Ransomware | 09/27/2018

2018 Atlanta Ransomware Brought Government Systems to a Hold

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Atlanta Hit With Ransomware - Costs $17M To City Government

The March 2018 Atlanta Cyberattack made Atlanta Ransomware News very popular! The city was almost paralyzed when SamSam ransomware took down the entire city’s computer network.

The SamSam ransomware roughly asked $50,000 in bitcoins to remove the malicious program. It is not clear, whether the city officials paid the ransom or not. But, the attackers left the city alone to fend for itself.

The city government officials publicly acknowledged the attack and did their best to save the Gate City of the south. The incident was so widespread that officials used paper forms by hand instead of online services.

Many city services and online programs were affected by the Atlanta ransomware attack 2018, including online services for citizens too. Atlanta city government ransomware attack also affected major American economic and transportation hub.

How did Atlanta ransomware attack happen?

The City’s technology department, AIM was made aware of outrage at 5:40 am March 22.  Various internal and customer applications first were hacked and then demanded ransom.

This was the first time when officials declared, Atlanta hit with ransomware crippled some public departments.

Atlanta Ransomware Attack Government Message

11Alive, NBC affiliated television channel revealed that the government would unlock the city’s data again for a ransom of six bitcoins, i.e., approximately $51,000.

Atlanta’s Chief Operating Officer Richard Cox summarised the whole situation;

“Security breaches around the world are impacting everyone. In fact, we already knew of the attacks on several agencies even Georgia was impacted. Whomsoever is doing such cyber frauds are evil people, moving quickly but will be captured and prosecuted soon.”

Atlanta’s Airport Department, Police Department, Municipal Court and City Employees Council faced the consequences of Atlanta Ransomware cyberattack.

According to rumors the attack first started inside LMS, Accela, department of city council staff.

Atlanta’s government officials would have saved the city before the attack when in April 2017, city’s webmail servers were hit by a cyber attack.

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However, it seems Atlanta didn’t learn its lesson from the previous cyber attack!

Unfortunately, the ransomware and malware attack implications are beyond the cost of the ransom as it let Atlanta’s citizen face;

  • Cost of replacing compromised devices
  • Loss of proprietary data
  • System downtime, which affects the ability to operate
  • Reputational damage
  • Potential legal penalties arising from poor security or handling of data
  • Windows OS was severely affected.

Consequences of Atlanta Ransomware Attack

The city of Atlanta’s servers has more than 1,48,000 computers compromised twice in last 2 years via hacking tools. NSA, Eternal Blue and Double Pulsar estimated hundreds of ransomware attacks on companies in Georgia by the global WannaCry ransomware.

While the security and law enforcement always discourage victims from paying the ransom, yet it is not clear did 2018 Atlanta cyberattack made the government to pay or not.

City of Atlanta tweets on Atlanta ransomware Attack

Between March 22 to April 2, 2018 government initiated emergency contracts of total value $2M to get back their all services and official departments. In other words, the city’s investment is going to improve the cyber defenses for a long term.

However, paying the cost for investing and improvising defenses was high against all major ransomware like Wannacry assault, .Arena attack, Scarab .Skype, Pegasus spyware, etc. that are taking down the entire world repeatedly.

Emergency support and overtime caused Atlanta phenomenally by impacting five of the thirteen local government departments.

The Homeland Security and Secret Service Agency are still working to find the group who developed SamSam Ransomware to cause turmoil over the whole city.

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Will SamSam - Atlanta's ransomware attack costs $17M to city?

SamSam attack is the costliest cyber attacks on any American city in the year 2018.

After reviewing a confidential and privileged seven-page document, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution revealed a contract of $6M with security services and $11M for new highly equipped devices.

Though it is a good step of investing in cyber defenses of the city, the big question is;

How will the government arrange such a huge amount? Moreover, how much did the attack can cost to Atlanta’s taxpayers?

Though it looks as if no personal data was compromised, later studies showed that the breach was worse than initially estimated by officials. In June 2018, security services found that many software programs are offline and partially disabled. There is no sign to many legal documents and police dashcam video files, though the police department has all its investigation files.

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The impacts of SamSam Atlanta Ransomware attack are severe and might cause citizens $17M as the taxpayers!

The only learning one can get from Atlanta ransomware attack 2018 is to invest personally in the cyber defenses at home. We need a best ransomware removal tool like Malware Crusher to remove ransomware responsible to cause serious damages to the system.

Tips to Prevent virus and malware from Infecting Your System:
  1. Enable your popup blocker: Pop-ups and ads on the websites are the most adoptable tactic used by cybercriminals or developers with the core intention to spread malicious programs.
    So, avoid clicking uncertain sites, software offers, pop-ups etc. and Install a powerful ad- blocker for ChromeMozilla, and IE
  2. Keep your Windows Updated: To avoid such infections, we recommend that you should always keep your system updated through automatic windows update.By doing this you can keep your device free from virus.According to the survey, outdated/older versions of Windows operating system are an easy target.
  3. Third-party installation: Try to avoid freeware download websites as they usually install bundled of software with any installer or stub file.
  4. Regular Backup: Regular and periodical backup helps you to keep your data safe in case the system is infected by any kind of virus or any other infection.Thus always backup important files regularly on a cloud drive or an external hard drive.
  5. Always have an Anti-Virus: Precaution is better than cure. We recommend that you install an antivirus like ITL Total Security or a good Malware Removal Tool like Download Virus RemovalTool


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