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Ransomeware Infiltrates US Base, Forces System Shut Down

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The US coast guard revealed that a computer virus forced a US maritime base offline. The intrusion made the base shut down for more than 30 hours. The virus affected cameras, door access control systems, and critical monitoring systems at the site.


US Coastguard hit by Ryuk Ransomware
The US coast guard


Officials believe the ransomware infiltrated the system via a malicious email link, clicked by an employee. The US Coast Guard (USCG) issued a security bulletin on 16th December 2019 urging other bases to take preventive measures to stall further attacks.


“Once the embedded malicious link in the email was clicked by an employee, the ransomware allowed for a threat actor to access significant enterprise information technology (IT) network files, and encrypt them, preventing the facility’s access to critical files,” the bulletin read.

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“The virus further burrowed into the industrial control systems that monitor and control cargo transfer and encrypted files critical to process operations.” it further explains.

Ryuk ransomware responsible for the attacks

The US Coast guard believes Ryuk ransomware is responsible for this particular attack. Ryuk is a Trojan horse that encrypts files on the compromised computer and demands a payment to decrypt them. It specifically targets enterprise environments.


Ransomware attacks were a huge problem in 2019 in which several companies and governments were targets.


The city of New Orleans had also declared a state of emergency in December 2019 after it detected suspicious activity on its network.


Once the City’s officials became aware of the attack, it shut down its servers and computers.


In October 2019 Virtual Care Provider, which offers technological services to nursing homes, was also hit by a ransomware attack that encrypted patients’ health records. Hackers had requested a ransom of $14m (£10.6m) to restore access to the hijacked servers.


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