3. Michigan State hit with NetWalker

In May, Michigan State University became the victim of a new trend in ransomware when it was infected by the NetWalker strain of malware. Instead of merely encrypting data, attackers had begun also to steal sensitive information and threaten its publication if they weren’t paid. The name-and-shame scheme was popularized last year by a ransomware variant called Maze, but attackers have honed the technique, finding success where the release of data is viewed as potentially more harmful to businesses that rely heavily on community trust. Facing down a ticking clock on a public website, though, administrators later reported that they chose not to pay, following the recommendation of law enforcement.

Colin Wood

Written by Colin Wood

Colin Wood is the editor in chief of StateScoop and EdScoop. He’s reported on government information technology policy for more than a decade, on topics including cybersecurity, IT governance and public safety.

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