Many cybercriminals are opportunists and take the path of least resistance, aiming at targets that will enable them to make a quick profit with the least effort.
Unfortunately, local government authorities are often precisely the kind of target these criminals seek.
Threat actors are well aware that local authorities have vast stores of valuable data such as personal and financial details of residents. At the same time, they generally lack the budgets and resources of their counterparts in the central government, making them an ideal mark for a criminal looking to make quick cash. Research from Gallagher found that threat actors attacked UK local authorities more than 800 times an hour last year.
Advanced ransomware attacks are now increasingly targeting the public sector and aim to widely lock systems and cripple services so that they can command a more lucrative payout. In recent years these attacks have become more sophisticated and problematic to detect. Perpetrators are now seeking to optimise their chances of success by first infiltrating the network then pinpointing the most valuable assets to encrypt.
Criminals bank on the idea that local governmental bodies will quickly pay a ransom demand to unlock their systems because the public depends on them for essential municipal services. It is worth noting that even when paying a ransom, there is no guarantee that they can recover data or that these or other criminals will not strike again.
Learn how, while deception has always been one of the most powerful resources in an attacker’s tool kit, it can be equally useful for defence.
Read the full article by Carolyn Crandall in LocalGov here.