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Durham City, County Recovering After Ransomware Attack

The City of Durham and the Durham County government in North Carolina are in the process of recovery after experiencing what appears to be a ransomware attack on March 6.

The City of Durham and the Durham County government in North Carolina are in the process of recovery after experiencing what appears to be a ransomware attack on March 6.

In a notice published on its website on Sunday, the City of Durham revealed that it was alerted of the incident late on Friday, and that it immediately responded and shut down some systems in an attempt to contain the attack.

“At this time, City IT staff are bringing systems back online while investigating the source of the attack. Critical public safety systems, including 911 and other public safety agencies, are operational and emergency calls are being handled,” the city said.

The city’s website remained operational during the incident, allowing residents to use it normally. 911 services were not impacted either, and the city was confident it would open city hall, all non-emergency city operations, programs, and services, as well as Durham County government services, on Monday.

While it did not provide specific information on the type of attack it suffered, the City of Durham linked on its Twitter account to a local media article offering some information on the incident, such as the fact that email was used as an infection vector.

No data appears to have been stolen, but the city was getting ready to restore hundreds of computers and servers.

The Ryuk ransomware, which is mainly delivered through the TrickBot banking Trojan, was reportedly involved in this attack, but it’s uncertain whether a ransom demand was received.

The same as REvil, Samas, Bitpaymer, and other ransomware out there, Ryuk poses a growing threat to organizations of all types, especially since it is often deployed manually by human operators.

Related: Ransomware Hits North Miami Beach Police Department

Related: Louisiana Governor Urges Officials to Ready for Cyberattacks

Related: Las Vegas Reports Cyber Attack; Extent of Breach Unclear

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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