Washington County Sheriff’s Office Hit by LockBit Ransomware
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office in northeastern Florida has fallen victim to a ransomware attack by the LockBit group, resulting in data leak and stolen from the department. While the data has not been viewed by The Record, cybersecurity experts claim that it contained information related to employees and warrants. With a population of over 25,000 residents, Washington County is situated about 45 minutes away from Panama City, Florida.
The sheriff’s office confirmed that it has since “recovered” from the incident, which occurred approximately two weeks ago. However, the attack had taken down the department’s finance system and jail networks, causing the office’s app to be offline from February 21 until early March.
Despite the damage caused, the department’s communication lines remained intact. Sheriff Kevin Crews has stated that the attack was believed to have originated in Russia.
Despite the threat by the LockBit group to leak the stolen data by March 20, the sheriff’s office has announced that it will not be paying any ransom, as Florida law prohibits government organizations from doing so. Nevertheless, the group proceeded to repost all the stolen information on Tuesday.
According to NCC Group analysts, LockBit has established itself as the most active ransomware group currently in use, responsible for more than half of all ransomware attacks in February. In February, the business was implicated in 129 ransomware assaults, a 150% increase in activity over January.
The Modesto, Oakland, and U.S. Marshal Services police departments, as well as other law enforcement agencies, have recently been the target of ransomware attacks.
Author: Alok Kumar