Utility Provider in Michigan Hit by Ransomware Attack

electricity-utility The corporate network of the server of the Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) in Michigan was hit by a ransomware attack. According to reports, the attack left staff locked out of their computers, but fortunately, it only affected the BWL’s enterprise systems, leaving the supply of electricity and water to its clients uninterrupted.

[READ: How ransomware works]

Investigations revealed that the attack happened after an employee opened an email with a malicious attachment. The ransomware spread through the company's network from there, encrypting files on the computers on the network. To prevent the malware from spreading, BWL shut down its systems, including those used for accounting, email, and phone communications used for customer assistance and inquiries.

An FAQ Twitter post from BWL said that customer payment information is safe since credit card credentials are handled by a third party. Additionally, customers are still able to make online payments. Though customer service lines were restored, other systems have yet to return to normal. The incident is currently being investigated by BWL's incident response team, as well as the FBI and state police.

The current ransomware landscape has significantly evolved from merely issuing empty threats to the data-encrypting malware that can lock down files and systems. Recent ransomware attacks on different industries have revealed a range of newer and more sophisticated ransomware variants, compelling authorities to increase their efforts on combating the ongoing ransomware epidemic.

Trend Micro endpoint solutions such as Trend Micro™ Security, Smart Protection Suites, and Worry-Free™ Business Security can protect users and businesses from this threat. Strong password policies and the disabling of automatic macro loading in Office programs, along with regular patching schedules, are also among the valid and tested ways to keep ransomware at bay. And despite this threat's attempt to render backup files useless, it is still an effective defense.Additionally, Trend Micro™ Deep Security provides advanced server security for physical, virtual, and cloud servers. It protects enterprise applications and data from breaches and business disruptions without requiring emergency patching. This comprehensive, centrally-managed platform helps simplify security operations while enabling regulatory compliance and accelerating the ROI of virtualization and cloud projects.

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