A situation that certainly stinks.
Recently, MDI and Limestone were both hit below the belt with ransomware attacks on their sewage treatment plants, according to WGME. And really, can you think of a worse thing to have happened? No one even should even want to discuss what a nasty situation it could turn into, but here we are...
Ransomware is no joke.
If you've never worked at a place that's been affected by it, you're pretty lucky. Imagine showing up to work one day, and literally nothing works. All the computers, and anything associated with them, are pretty much toast. Your ability to get online? Gone. Need to print something off? No way, Jose!
Ransomware will get in and cause all sorts of havoc. It's called ransomware, because at some point your company will receive a message that, magically, all this havoc can be quickly undone.... for a steep price. And it usually starts with an unsuspecting employee. A lot of attacks begin as an innocent email, asking someone to follow a link.
Two recent attacks...
MDI was hit with their attack back in April, and Limestone got hit on July 4th. In these two cases, both communities were extremely lucky, as no money changed hands, and the attacks were caught and mitigated very quickly. But it is bringing a lot of attention to small towns and their online vulnerability.
A lot of small towns don't upgrade their computers as much. Such was the case in Limestone. The opening for hackers was caused by an old computer running Windows 7. Were they also using an old AOL startup disk that came in the mail too?! Windows 7, really?! I'm nearly computer illiterate, and even I know better than that, hahaha.
Small town diligence.
Small towns are probably more susceptible than ever to this kind of attack. Sure, the payout would likely be smaller for the attackers, but obviously, their ability to gain access is much more substantial. I live in a small town like these spots, and it makes me wonder how easily accessible our utilities are? I hope we don't find out.