Louisiana declares state emergency in response to ransomware attacks

The governor of Louisiana has declared a statewide emergency following a wave of ransomware attacks targeting school systems. 

A series of ransomware attacks have impacted school systems in Sabine, Morehouse and Ouachita parishes in North Louisiana. As a result IT networks are down in the three school districts. 

In a statement, Governor John Bel Edwards said:

“The state was made aware of a malware attack on a few north Louisiana school systems and we have been coordinating a response ever since.

The Louisiana Cybersecurity Commission, a 15-member board established in 2017, will be responsible for drawing up an emergency response plan. 

“This is exactly why we established the Cyber Security Commission, focused on preparing for, responding to and preventing cybersecurity attacks, and we are well-positioned to assist local governments as they battle this current threat,” Edwards added. 

This isn’t the first time a state emergency has been declared due to some form of cyber-attack. In 2018, the Colorado Department of Transportation had been attacked by the SamSam ransomware, which forced the department to shut down its operations, thus resulting in a declaration of state emergency. 

The Emergency Declaration allows state resources to be available for impacted schools. Resources include Louisiana State Police, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) and more. 

The state of emergency will remain until the recovery process at the impacted schools are completed, or until August 21.

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