South Carolina municipalities facing nonstop cyberattacks, working from home a potential threat – Florence, South Carolina

Florence, South Carolina 2021-09-20 14:19:26 –

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (WBTW) — Municipalities in South Carolina are vulnerable to cyberattacks, highlighting the need for safety infrastructure months after high-profile hacks spotlight this issue. became.

Ryan Trusky, Deputy Chief Information Security Officer, South Carolina Law Enforcement Department, said: “This is something that every organization needs to protect.”

According to Trusky, there are “high-level” incidents in the state, with governments, medical institutions and financial institutions being the number one targets for cybercriminals. What makes these attacks even more common is that municipalities can be considered simple prey.

“Cyber ​​attacks occur all day, every day, all night, and while protecting cyber attacks,” said Truskey, who said security apps on the network blocked many low-level attacks. I also mentioned that there is.

Georgetown County experienced a “serious infrastructure breach” in January following a “very sophisticated attempt” that “most people misunderstood it as a legitimate email,” according to people familiar with the matter. It has affected online systems such as email and GIS. The attacker demanded a large amount of cryptocurrency as a ransom, but authorities refused it and instead chose to completely rebuild the system. According to the county, this type of attack is often associated with terrorist organizations and does not guarantee that cybercriminals have promised to restore the system.

The stolen data, including the Social Security numbers of some employees, was later posted by ransomware gang Doppel Paymer.

Georgetown County’s system has been restored and is up and running, according to Georgetown County spokesman Jackie Brooch.

Prior to the incident, Brooch said IT staff trained employees on how to identify and avoid cyber attacks. That training continued and the county implemented additional security measures such as better threat detection, two-factor authentication, and cloud-based email and document systems.

In May, the Colonial Pipeline, which transports 45% of all fuel consumed on the East Coast, had to temporarily shut down all pipeline operations. After a successful attack People were in a hurry to fill the car, leading to a massive panic with a South Carolina pump.

According to a July report from North Myrtle Beach, the city blocked at least 255,000 web attacks and quarantined and / or blocked more than 90,000 emails. News13 contacted the city for more information. A spokesman said, “The city refuses to participate,” and said the protocol is not to discuss security measures.

South Carolina’s Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity Task Force (SC CIC) was formed under former Governor Nikki Haley and was formed by Governor Henry McMaster to create a working group to investigate the state’s infrastructure. I did. The Task Force is made up of agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the US Secret Service, the National Guard, State Emergency Management, and the Election Commission.

Truskey said it was a high priority topic for SLED. He said it’s difficult to keep up to date with the speed of technology change. The system needs to be secure as well as functional.

Recent attacks have targeted the supply chain, demonstrating that government agencies can no longer essentially rely on software to block cybercriminals.

“User education is very important. It’s one of the things SC CIC offers and it’s training in that area,” says Truskey.

A successful attack can cost both money and reputation, depending on the type of information disclosed, and can lead to legal action.

Georgetown County breaches were reported to the Task Force and dealt with at the county level, according to Trusky. He said the attack was similar to the other attacks he saw. According to Trusky, the county was not a member of the SC CIC program at the time, but has since joined.

The program is opt-in and is currently used by more than 100 institutions in the state. We offer free services such as training and system audits. Part of that initiative involved sending 15 emails, similar to what appears to be a circular attack, followed by training on how to work safely from home and identify fake text messages. Followed by.

Working from home during a pandemic can be dangerous to security, Trusky said.

“This creates a lot of challenges because organizations used to put everyone on a site on the network and on the network to protect their users,” he said. “Currently, these users are home and are using home networks that are not covered by the same security services.”

He said organizations can prevent attacks by educating users and cleaning up the system. He encourages non-participating institutions to opt in to the SC CIC program. This will help you share information and lessons that will help prevent future violations.

“If nothing else, we’re the second eye to strengthen the security they’re already doing at their agency,” he said.

South Carolina municipalities facing nonstop cyberattacks, working from home a potential threat Source link South Carolina municipalities facing nonstop cyberattacks, working from home a potential threat

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