Hackers Shut Down Pa. Senate Democrats’ Network, Demand Ransom

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istockphoto.com, catnap72

istockphoto.com, catnap72[1]

Hackers are demanding ransom in a cyberattack that has left Pennsylvania Senate Democrats’ computer network down since Friday and led to an FBI investigation, according to multiple[2] news outlets[3]. 

The network, which has been inaccessible for three days, includes documents surrounding policy work, constituent case files and information on state grants, according to the Associated Press[4]. As of Monday afternoon, the Senate Democrats’ website was still down and displayed only an error message.

More than a dozen Democrats and their staff have been affected, according to Network World[5]. State Senate Republicans, who use a different network, were reportedly unaffected.

Little information has been released regarding the hackers or the demanded ransom. Employees with Microsoft and the FBI’s Philadelphia and Pittsburgh offices are reportedly investigating the breach.

Senate Democratic leader Jay Costa told the AP that Democrats have not paid ransom and do not intend to do so – though hackers have warned that they will delete the information if ransom is not paid in a week, Sen. Daylin Leach reportedly said.

Despite the cyberattack, caucus offices are open this week.

Follow @ClaireSasko[6] on Twitter.

Endnotes:
  1. catnap72: http://www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/catnap72
  2. multiple: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article136686644.html
  3. news outlets: http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/322297-ransomware-attack-hits-penn-state-senate-dems
  4. Associated Press: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article136686644.html
  5. Network World: http://www.networkworld.com/article/3176888/security/ransomware-attack-hit-pennsylvania-democratic-senators.html
  6. @ClaireSasko: http://twitter.com/clairesasko

Source URL: https://www.phillymag.com/news/2017/03/06/pa-senate-democrats-ransomware-cyberattack/