Ransomware attacks are on the rise and have targeted US government entities, cities, police stations, and schools. According to cyber security firm Recorded Future, 170 county, city, or state government systems have been attacked since 2013. The most recent victim is the city of Baltimore, where the city’s email and internet services have been disabled until a ransom that grows each day is paid.
The way these ransomware attacks operate is the attacker encrypts computer files then demands payment, usually in the form of cryptocurrency (like bitcoin) for a decryption key to unlock them. Click here to learn more.
Right now no one really knows the reason for these attacks, however, some in the cyber security field have speculated that these could be test runs for something bigger.