The state of Louisiana called in the National Guard to stop a few ransomware attacks affecting government offices, according to a Reuters report.
With less than a week until US general elections on November 3, the state of Louisiana faces a serious ransomware problem directly affecting some government offices. The situation is so bad that the National Guard was called in to deal with the situation.
Since the general elections are just a week away, the possibility that the events are somehow related can’t be dismissed. The local government officials are not saying anything about the current situation, and they won’t even confirm the little that’s already out there.
The Reuters report mentions that the infection occurred through a RAT (remote access trojan) that’s usually deployed through infected emails. The investigation revealed that parts of the trojan’s code belong to KimJongRat, a malware used by North Korean hackers. This particular piece of code is available on public repositories, so the link to North Korea is not clear.
Also, the first information confirms that the infection was stopped in its tracks and that it didn’t affect many offices. Neither the state’s police, the governor nor the Louisiana National Guard wanted to comment on the situation, stating only that it’s an ongoing investigation.
At this point, it’s difficult to determine the true intentions of the attackers. Ransomware attacks are common, especially in the public sector, and the threat actors may be only looking for a ransom, with no connection to the elections.
Recently, US security officials issued a warning regarding the use of ransomware in attacks against the election system, which is why the Louisiana official has to treat the situations as if that’s the case.