This year, we have seen a growing trend of cryptovirological operators to target local governments and the departments operating in the public domain. In the same flutter, Riverside Police Department sustained a ransomware attack in April, resulting in the shutting down of the department’s record management system, which is used as a platform to devise and store investigation reports.
While cybersecurity experts were dealing with ransomware removal, the department started to use databases stored on the state’s law enforcement gateway on a temporary basis. The city police used the gateway for four days until the completion of ransomware removal.
A new investigation reveals startling details
According to the public statement issued by the Chief of City Police soon after the incident, the ransomware attack left the department unable in retrieving and printing the past reports. This hiccup resulted in delaying the progress on several ongoing investigations.
But a recent investigation scoop suggests that the damage of ransomware was not only limited to the unavailability of the past record. According to the recently surfaced information, the entire digital front of the department went offline after the attack. The law enforcement personnel couldn’t file real-time reports and incidents on the department’s digital platform.
Therefore, the police had to resort to handwritten reports when security researchers were busy in disinfecting the system through ransomware removal measures. It is, in fact, a shocking revelation that the entire city department went offline. Law enforcement services were not discontinued for a single minute, all thanks to the diligent officers of Riverside Police. However, the relegation to manual reporting badly hit the day-to-day performance of the department.
The key takeaway from the episode of the Riverside attack is rather simple i.e. a cryptovirological attack has the ability to disrupt public services to entire cities and municipalities.