Local officials released few details regarding the Oct. 7 ransomware attack, stating that “critical systems within the Hall County Government networks” had been affected. Today, CNN reported that the incident “may be the first ransomware attack to hit election infrastructure this political season.” According to Hall County spokesperson Katie Crumley, the county’s voter signature database and voting precinct map were heavily impacted by the attack. However, he noted the county is in the process of bringing affected systems back online, including the map and database.
“The voting process for our citizens has not been impacted due to the network issues.”
The attackers are not believed to have targeted Hall County’s voting systems specifically, with many of the county services being disrupted, including phone and email. The spokesperson said that the voting process for the citizens had not impacted due to the network issues. Brett Callow of cybersecurity firm Emsisoft noted that US local government entities have been falling victim to ransomware attacks at a rate of approximately three per week, although he believes the impact on voting is more likely to be “collateral damage,” he told the crypto news outlet Cointelegraph.
Ransomware attacks surge this year amid the pandemic.
Crypto-related scams and ransomware attacks around the world have significantly surged amid the ongoing global pandemic. Earlier this year, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a warning saying scammers might be looking to unleash a surge in crypto-related scams. Several countries also reported a surge in crypto scams that included a spike in ransomware attacks, Ponzi schemes, and other different types of scams involving cryptocurrencies.
Several types of crypto scams have become very prevalent, including fake giveaways, sextortion, fake exchanges, fake ICO’s, bitcoin recovery, video scams, and Ponzi schemes, and the list goes on.