Ransomware has been making headlines during the past week. Atlanta was hit last week by a ransomware cyberattack that stopped some of the city’s governmental functions. Now, it turns out that the Baltimore 911 emergency system was hit during the past weekend.
According to NBC News, the city’s automated 911 system was temporarily taken down, forcing the call center handling incoming emergency calls to manually manage incidents, instead of the usual electronic relay to dispatchers.
While city officials have said it was a ransomware attack, Frank Johnson, the chief information officer (CIO) in the Mayor’s Office of Information Technology, said he is unaware of a specific ransom demand, according to Kevin Rector of The Baltimore Sun. Federal authorities are investigating.
The breach, which did not lead to any loss of personal data of city residents, was the result of a misconfiguration. Writes Rector, “Johnson said the attack was made possible after a city information technology team troubleshooting a separate communications issue with the server inadvertently changed a firewall and left a port, or a channel to the Internet, open for about 24 hours, and hackers who were likely running automated scans of networks looking for such vulnerabilities found it and gained access.”
Get the full story at The Baltimore Sun.