At a glance.
- Tribal government hit with ransomware.
- RPI targeted by cyberattack,
- Hacktivists dox Chicago politicians.
- Ransomware in Tulsa.
MHA tribal group hit by ransomware attack.
The Three Affiliated Tribes, composed of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara nations (MHA) of the United States, suffered a ransomware attack, Native News Online reports. According to MHA Nation Tribal Chairman Mark Fox, “MHA's management information system has been exposed to an external cyber security issue and we have formulated a team of experts to assist our analysis and have coordinated with external government entities as well.” As the attack took the email system offline, a print memorandum was sent to all MHA employees advising staff to refrain from using their computers until a cybersecurity team could “clean” the machines. In 2019, the Eastern Band of Cherokee suffered a cyberattack, resulting in the arrest of an Eastern Band of Cherokee tribal employee for “tampering with public records and obstructing government functions.”
Threat actors target Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Times Union reports that Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), a private research university in the US state of New York, was hit by a cyberattack, forcing the school to postpone students’ final exams. The school’s website and Student Information System, as well as any school-provided websites, are offline. Additionally, the email system has been shut down, meaning students and faculty cannot communicate via normal channels, forcing them to resort to less traditional mediums like Slack and Reddit. A message to the RPI community stated, “We have temporarily suspended access to the network as we work with law enforcement and cyber security experts to determine the extent of the trespass.”
Hacktivists publish Chicago mayor’s emails on dark web.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that tens of thousands of emails from the office of the mayor of Chicago were published by hacktivist group Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDoSecrets). The emails were among the data stolen in connection with the recent breach of firewall vendor Accellion. They were then discovered by DDoSecrets in an underground online forum. When they announced their decision to release the emails, DDoSecrets stated, “In light of the killing of Adam Toledo [a thirteen-year-old boy shot by Chicago police last month], we have decided to publish a cache of emails from the City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department.” Based on the headers in the messages, the emails originate from the accounts of several individuals in Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration, and some of the emails were written by Lightfoot herself. Jones Day, a law firm that represents the city, was one of the many victims of the Accellion breach, and the stolen emails were sent to Jones Day in connection to a case involving a mishandled 2019 Chicago police raid. Kristen Cabanban, spokesperson for the city’s Law Department, did not comment on the content of the emails but did question their authenticity: “Hackers of government-related materials are known to manipulate and alter illegally obtained emails and documents.”
US’s 47th-largest city suffers ransomware attack.
The city of Tulsa, in the US state of Oklahoma, was the victim of a ransomware attack that shut down the city’s official websites, the Record by Recorded Future reports. While the city’s IT staff have restored the sites, they are still working to recover all of the affected systems. Fortunately, because the attack occurred at night when most machines were shut down, it impacted only a small fraction of the city’s networks. This is not the first attack on a large US city; the largest reported incidents include Atlanta, Baltimore, and Denver.
Saumitra Das, CTO and Cofounder of Blue Hexagon, commented in an email, "With Tulsa now being added to a list of growing cities being victims of ransomware; the question of what the lessons are to be learned and how does the government at all levels (city, state, Federal) focus on investing in new technologies to prevent such attacks should be brought to the forefront."