An extensive, multifaced cyber-attack infected so many agencies of Washington for over a week, said two persons, familiar with this matter, to Bloomberg. As per them, the hackers are using malware including Trickbot and has yet to affect the state operations, though the state election system is safe for now.
Security of State tweeted on this Thursday that they are “aware of an active cyber threat facing government entities…though we have no reason at this time to believe this is targeted at elections.” Two spokespersons of Governor Jay Inslee, Tara Lee, and Mike Faulk ignored the request to comment on it.
In a press conference on Thursday, Inslee said a ‘phishing campaign’ is targeting the state. But hitting the state computer networks is more serious than the phishing campaign. The hackers already got access to multiple state agencies and preparing to deepen their attack.
Washington is currently under the assistance of the US Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and Microsoft.
The exact motive of the attackers and whether they already stole any sensitive data or not, are still unknown, but considering the timing, the political aspect can’t be ignored as the presidential election is coming.
A state employee said, on 18th September, all of them received instruction to avoid accessing emails and on 21st not to click on new attachments.
Apart from the Trickbot, there is another type of malware called Emotet which is used in this attack, and a minimum of 13 departments and commissions are impacted including corrections, parks and recreation, and fish and wildlife.
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