NewsCovering Louisiana


Louisiana sheriff's offices targeted in cyberattack attempt

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Posted at 7:17 AM, Dec 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-16 08:17:52-05

ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) - Three Louisiana parish sheriff's offices were targeted by hackers over the weekend in a suspected cyberattack, officials confirmed.

The Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office received a call from the Sheriff's Association in Baton Rouge on Friday that Rapides, Washington and Orleans parishes had all been targeted by hackers, Sheriff William Earl Hilton confirmed to KALB-TV on Sunday. Also on Friday, ransomware was detected in another cyberattack in New Orleans that shut down city government computers. It's unclear if the attacks are related.

The Rapides office was notified again on Sunday by the state's Fusion Center that it was being hacked, prompting it to shut down all computers, Hilton confirmed. He said state officials are addressing the problem from Baton Rouge, but computer systems could remain down for days. The office is operating its booking system and continuing other processes on paper, Hilton said.

The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles and several other state agencies fell victim to similar ransomware attacks last month, news outlets reported. The state didn't lose any data and didn't pay the hackers' ransom in those attacks.