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Louisiana recovering from attempted ransomware attack

Posted On: Nov. 20, 2019 3:21 PM CST


Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Tuesday that state websites and many online government services that were taken down Monday in an attempted ransomware attack were back in operation, although full-service restoration may take several days.

The state did not pay the ransomware and there is no anticipated data loss, the governor’s office said in the statement. It did not report how much was demanded in payment.

The statement said Monday’s service interruption was largely because of the state Office of Technology Service’s “aggressive response to prevent additional infection of state servers and not due to the attempted ransomware attack.”

It said the attempted attack is similar to the ransomware that targeted local school districts and government entities across the country this summer, and that Louisiana state police and several federal agencies are investigating the attempted attack.

The growing number of ransomware attacks on public entities is leading insurers to more closely scrutinize their policyholders’ cyber risks and could lead to increased rates for the sector, say some observers.

A spokesman for Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne said the state has cyber insurance, but “We haven’t incurred that much in the way of cost. It’s going to be a wait-and- see to determine how the claim progresses.”

The spokesman said he could not immediately provide information on the insurer, or the coverage’s limits.