Malware, Ransomware

Georgia State Patrol agency infected with ransomware

The Georgia State Patrol was reportedly the target of a July 26 ransomware attack that has necessitated the precautionary shutdown of its servers and network.

Per local news affiliate WHNT, the GSP has confirmed that the incidence could slightly impact response times; however, members of the force still have other channels of communication such as radio dispatch to perform their duties and coordinate responses to accidents and other events. A separate report by WGCL said the public should see "little to no" direct effect.

GSP is a division of Georgia's Department of Public Safety, where an employee first reported the attack after receiving an odd notification on his or her computer.

"They just had a message pop up on their screen that looked a little strange from our headquarters office," said GSP Lt. Stephanie Stallings, according to a joint WGCL/CNN news report. "Our technology department notified the Georgia Technology Authority, making them aware, and just as a preemptive action, they shut down the servers and shut down the network" to isolate the problem and ensure it's not more widespread.

Georgia's governmental institutions have been repeatedly targeted by ransomware attacks since 2018. Earlier this month, attacks struck the Lawrenceville, Ga. police department and Georgia's court system, and last year the city of Atlanta experienced major disruptions following a SamSam ransomware infection.

As of July 29, the GSP's network was still down.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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