Ohio Official: Prevent Ransomware Attacks, Save Taxpayers Money

Ohio state auditor asks employees to be alert to cyberattacks amid reports of 35-fold rise in ransomware domains in Q1 2016.

The state auditor of Ohio publicly cautioned government employees against increasing ransomware attacks on state departments, reports SecureWorld. Dave Yost sent out a warning to treasurers and fiscal officers asking them to be vigilant against sophisticated methods of cyberattacks to steal “tax dollars.”

“The internet is the tool of choice for criminals, and we need to make it as difficult as possible for thieves to access community treasure chests,” Yost said.

Yost shared a few examples of ransomware attacks in the state illustrate the threat, including one in a county court, which paid $2,500 to the attackers; another in Peru Township, which paid $200; and another in Vernon Township, which luckily had its data backed up, so didn’t have to pay ransom.

His warning comes in the wake of a report by Infoblox that showed a 3,500% increase in ransomware-related domain name registrations in the past quarter. The FBI reports that ransomware victims suffered $209 million in losses in the first quarter of 2016, up from $24 million throughout 2015.

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