Cyber Attack On NM Govt Services Going Unnoticed

OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

Bernalillo County, New Mexico’s most populated county, is still recovering from a cyber attack that’s being described as “Ransomware”, though I can’t find where any demands have been made. If something is being ransomed I’d expect the hackers to want something in return. Instead some municipal services were taken off-line, and some network connections were severed. There’s not much more information than that.

Public safety services are still operating due to “backup contingencies” that have not been specified. These services include 911 communications, fire and rescue operations, and the Sheriff’s Office. Some employees are working from home as their government buildings have been shut down for days now.

It strikes me as odd that this happened on January 5th and I only heard about it today because I follow some pretty obscure news sources. You’d think it’d be a pretty big story; someone hacked government services! I feel like there’s a movie about this…

And what a coincidence that this same county has been hit by Cyber attacks before. In 2019 money was scammed from county vendor accounts through a cyber attack…

“Officials discovered in 2019 that a scammer had successfully masqueraded as one of the county’s vendors to make off with payments meant for the firm. The fraudsters tricked the county’s accounts payable personnel into sending funds into a bank account owned by the criminals, rather than by the legitimate vendor, KOAT reported. The scheme diverted more than $447,000 into the wrong hands.”

Previously, in 2014, Anonymous shut down the Albuquerque Police Department website.

“…The protest came days after a YouTube video emerged threatening retaliation for a recent deadly police shooting backed by anonymous, according to the Albuquerque Journal. The video, which bore the logo of the computer hacking collective Anonymous, warned of a cyberattack on city websites and called for the protest march, the Albuquerque Journal reported. Albuquerque police said their site had been breached early Sunday afternoon, but it was visible late in the afternoon after being offline for hours.”

Regardless of what’s happening or why, I want to know who’s in charge of security over there?? Is this this norm, are local governments really hacked this often and we just don’t hear about it? Well that’s a scary thought. Because apparently the answer is yes, it’s happening all of the time. See this video about the attack.

“Trust me, I’ve from the government.” Mhm….

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