September 29, 2023

Residents of Cornelius, North Carolina, are coping with delayed or unavailable companies after a ransomware assault earlier this week.

The city has a inhabitants of about 32,000 folks and is a outstanding suburb of Charlotte situated on Lake Norman. Authorities officers stated on the night of July 11, they found a cybersecurity incident later decided to be a ransomware assault.

“The Expertise Operations (TechOps) Division instantly severed on-site expertise from the community with a view to comprise the menace and stop its unfold,” the city authorities stated.

“TechOps is working with the North Carolina Native Authorities Data Techniques Affiliation (NCLGISA) and Mecklenburg County Emergency Administration to scan and clear all affected units earlier than the City returns to regular operations.”

They added that “some companies offered by the City could also be quickly unavailable or delayed” as they work to revive programs.

MaeLynn Joyner, communications supervisor for Cornelius, informed Recorded Future Information that each one on-site expertise has been disconnected from their community.

“Companies most affected can be these delivered over the telephone or these requiring employees to entry recordsdata situated on our servers, that are within the technique of being scanned,” she stated. “Emergency companies, like 911, are nonetheless accessible.”

However on Twitter, Cornelius Police Division stated the primary telephone line to the police division is down because of the attack. They offered alternate telephone numbers for these in want of the police.

Joyner declined to say what ransomware group launched the assault or whether or not a ransom could be paid.

Final yr, North Carolina grew to become the primary U.S. state to ban all authorities entities from paying ransoms related to ransomware assaults — a controversial measure a number of cybersecurity specialists have questioned.

When the legislation was handed final yr, some frightened that it might successfully function a further method for ransomware gangs to extort victims, permitting them to threaten organizations with not solely the leak of stolen information but additionally with unverified claims of being paid a ransom in violation of state legislation.

Different specialists puzzled whether or not ransomware teams would particularly go after authorities organizations in North Carolina as a de facto warning to different states to not go related bans.

Native governments throughout the U.S. proceed to be ripe targets for ransomware teams, with cities and cities in dozens of states affected on a weekly foundation.

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Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig is a Breaking Information Reporter at Recorded Future Information. Jonathan has labored throughout the globe as a journalist since 2014. Earlier than shifting again to New York Metropolis, he labored for information shops in South Africa, Jordan and Cambodia. He beforehand coated cybersecurity at ZDNet and TechRepublic.