Ransom Demands and Frozen Computers: Hackers Hit Towns Across the U.S.
Public-sector attacks appear to be rising faster than those in the private sector, according to the Ponemon Institute, a Traverse City, Mich., research company focused on information security. Ponemon estimates 38% of the public entities it samples will suffer a ransomware attack this year, based on reports through May, up from 31% last year and 13% in 2016. The company samples roughly 300 to 400 public-sector entities each year.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre right at the front end of this,‚ÄĚ said Marshall Davies, executive director of the Alexandria, Va.-based Public Risk Management Association. Hackers are ‚Äújust now coming after the public entities. They‚Äôve been hitting the businesses for years,‚ÄĚ he said.
Hackers generally don‚Äôt target specific cities, but instead are constantly searching for vulnerabilities wherever they may occur, security experts said. ‚ÄúThe trick about ransomware right now is that it‚Äôs typically...