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ALERT: Global Ransomware - WannaCry

From the Desk of Office of Security & Research, Cuyahoga County IT

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has received multiple reports of “WannaCry” ransomware infections in many countries around the world. Some of the observed attacks use common phishing tactics including malicious attachments.

What to Know:
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that infects a computer and restricts users’ access to it until a ransom is paid to unlock it.
  • Individuals and organizations are discouraged from paying the ransom, as this does not guarantee access will be restored.
  • Anyone is at risk if their [Windows] operating system updates and security applications are not current.
  • Cuyahoga County Department of IT Security & Research has technical controls in place to mitigate this exploit and is closely monitoring the situation to ensure the safety of citizen data and public services.
  • Don't Know Don't Click and Report any suspicious activity:

What to Do (At Home):
Immediately deploy the security update associated with Microsoft Security Bulletin MS17-010, if you have not done so already. If you have automatic updates enabled or have deployed this update, you are already protected from the vulnerability these attacks are trying to exploit.
  • Increased awareness is very much required to recognize potentially suspicious emails from untrusted or unknown sources; always stop and think before clicking an email link or an attachment; Don't Know, Don't Click
  • Use these additional tips provided by the National Cyber Security Alliance to help prevent ransomware infections:
    • Keep clean machines: Prevent infections by updating critical software as soon as updates or new operating system versions are available. This includes mobile and other internet-connected devices.
    • Lock down your login: Strong authentication — requiring more than a username and password to access accounts — should be deployed on critical networks to prevent access through stolen or hacked credentials.
    • Conduct regular backups of systems: Systems can be restored in cases of ransomware and having current backup of all data speeds the recovery process.
    • Make better passwords: In cases where passwords are still used, require long, strong and unique passwords to better harden accounts against intrusions.
  • Please report any ransomware incidents to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
  • For Cuyahoga County Agencies and Users, if you believe you received a suspicious email or have detected any suspicious activity, immediately contact Cuyahoga County Support Center or your respective Agency IT Support Center / Help Desk:‚Äč


Cuyahoga County Security Department Featured in the Wall Street Journal

"For Jeremy Mio, security and research manager for Cuyahoga County, Ohio, the main focus is on protecting the county’s computer networks, which means not only watching what the approximately 8,000 to 10,000 employees are doing but making sure members of the public that access the system are not trying to perpetrate any mischief."

Click here to read the article.

2015 Survey Honors Most Innovative, Pioneering Digital Counties

Cuyahoga County won 10th place in the 500,000 or more population category commemorating multiple IT efforts such as county wide consolidation, cyber Security, regional collaboration, and more. Click here for the press release.

Cuyahoga County, OH honored as best in the nation for Cyber Security!