Lawrence has been on top of this as long as I have, and has a breaking story:
Early on August 16, a total of 23 local government organizations in Texas were hit by a coordinated ransomware attack. The type of ransomware has not been revealed, and Texas officials asserted that no state networks were compromised in the attack.
So the Bad Guys hit a lot of towns, and hit them hard enough that the towns probably haven't figured out just how bad things are. Baltimore was pretty bad, with people not being able to pay taxes (so nobody could sell a house).A spokesman for the Texas Department of Information Resources (TDIR) told Ars that authorities are not ready to reveal the names of the entities affected, nor other details of the attack.
Lawrence has excellent advice that I heartily second:
Consider this yet another reminder to use strong passwords you can remember, to backup all your files (especially all your important files) regularly, update your virus definitions and security patches regularly (between starting and publishing this piece, I updated both Firefox and macOS), and to never open an email attachment or click on a link unless you’re absolutely sure you know who it’s from.And props to Lawrence, who made this a couple years back:
We posted about how to back up your data here and here. I think we need to collect all our backup posts into a single post and highlight it on the side of the blog.
UPDATE 23 August 2019 09:58: The series on backing up your data can be found here. FYI, I do not recommend Western Digital storage products anymore because they had a hard coded backdoor. Maybe they've changed since this series of posts but that's such a boneheaded security mistake that I wonder what else they've done.