The Play ransomware gang has begun to leak data from the City of Oakland, California, that was stolen in a recent cyberattack. The city suffered the ransomware attack on February 8th, with all IT systems taken offline until the network was secured. The initial data leak consists of a 10GB multi-part RAR archive allegedly containing confidential documents, employee information, passports, and IDs. “Private and personal confidential data, financial information. IDs, passports, employee full info, human rights violation information. For now, partially published compressed 10gb,” stated the cybercriminals on their data leak site. In an updated statement posted yesterday, the city stays that they are monitoring the situation and will notify any individuals whose personal information was exposed.
Organizations should initiate proactive measures to ensure they are protected from ransomware. The US DHS website, stopransomware.gov, has links to resources that help organizations protect their systems from intrusions that lead to ransomware. To protect against ransomware attacks, organizations should:
• Regularly back up data, air gap, and password protect backup copies offline.
• Ensure copies of critical data are not accessible for modification or deletion from the system where the data resides.
• Implement network segmentation.
• Implement a recovery plan to maintain and retain multiple copies of sensitive or proprietary data and servers in a physically separate, segmented, secure location (i.e., hard drive, storage device, the cloud).
• Install updates/patch operating systems, software, and firmware as soon as practical after they are released. Implement monitoring of security events on employee workstations and servers, with a 24/7 Security Operations Center to detect threats and respond quickly.
• Use multifactor authentication where possible.
• Use strong passwords and regularly change passwords to network systems and accounts, implementing the shortest acceptable timeframe for password changes.
• Avoid reusing passwords for multiple accounts.
• Focus on cyber security awareness and training.
• Regularly provide users with training on information security principles and techniques as well as overall emerging cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities.