Threat Management

Louisiana declares state of emergency after cyberattacks hit three school districts

In what is a first for Louisiana, its governor has declared a state of emergency after three school systems in the state were hit with cyberattacks.

Gov. John Bel Edwards issued the declaration in response to cyber incidents that took place over the last few weeks at Sabine, Morehouse, and Ouachita parishes in North Louisiana. By declaring an emergency, Bel Edwards gains access to state resources and assistance from cybersecurity experts from the Louisiana National Guard, Louisiana State Police and the Office of Technology Services to assist local governments in responding to their cybersecurity incidents.

“The state was made aware of a malware attack on a few north Louisiana school systems and we have been coordinating a response ever since,” Edwards said. “This is exactly why we established the Cyber Security Commission, focused on preparing for, responding to and preventing cybersecurity attacks, and we are well-positioned to assist local governments as they battle this current threat,” Bel Edwards said in a statement.

None of the three districts named had posted any information regarding cyberattacks.

Tim Erin, VP of product management and strategy at Tripwire, provided the following comments: “Ransomware is fundamentally a denial of service attack, and when services are denied to the public, it becomes a significant issue for government. It’s unfortunate that it takes an incident like this, but I suspect we’ll see much better response planning from other states because of Louisiana’s action here.”

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