Security Experts:

Ransomware Hits North Miami Beach Police Department

The City of North Miami Beach last week announced that ransomware was found on computers within its police department’s network.

The attack was discovered on Tuesday and the FBI, the Secret Service, and the Miami-Dade Police Department were immediately alerted.

In a statement released on Friday, the City of North Miami Beach noted that there had been no interruption in public safety services and that the police department continues to conduct all operations.

“At this time, it appears that no other department or city service has been affected,” the statement reads (PDF).

Upon discovering the ransomware, IT personnel within the police department immediately shut down computers and alerted the FBI and Secret Service.

While no details have been released on whether any information related to residents, employees, or vendors has been accessed or downloaded without authorization, an investigation into the incident is still ongoing.

“We continue to work closely with these federal partners, as well as the county police department and a third-party forensic investigator, to determine the extent and objectives of the attack and how best to address it,” the City of North Miami Beach said.

No other information regarding the attack has been released and the identity of the intruders, along with the type of ransomware used, remain unknown.

Numerous cities in the United States have fallen victim to ransomware attacks over the past couple of years, and many paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in ransom demands. Last year, the United States Conference of Mayors promised that its members would not give in to ransomware demands.

In 2018, the City of Atlanta refused to pay a ransom of a little over $50,000, but had to spend over ten million dollars as a result of the attack.

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