‘Akira’ ransomware behind Bucks Co. security attack that crippled emergency dispatch system, officials say – NBC10 Philadelphia | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

About a week after a cyberattack crippled Bucks County’s computer-aided emergency dispatch system, officials, on Friday, announced they believe they know who was behind the attack.

According to county officials, the ransomware group “Akira” is believed to have been responsible for the attack on a computer-aided emergency dispatch system that — according to the Department of Homeland Security — enables “dispatchers, call- takers, and 911 operators to prioritize and record incident calls, identify the status and location of responders in the field, and effectively dispatch responder personnel.”

“The County has shared with its local, state and federal partners that the ransomware “Akira” is involved so that they can have situational awareness and review their own systems,” county officials announced.

However, officials said, all 911 phone and radio systems remain operational as they investigate the cyberattack.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Akira is a Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) group that started operations in March 2023.

“The group has targeted multiple sectors, including finance, real estate, manufacturing, and healthcare,” says the Dept. of Health and Human Services, noting that the group typically demands ransom payments in these cyberattacks.

Without this system, Bucks County officials said that the county has lost automated services powered by CAD and law enforcement officials cannot access databases for the Commonwealth Law Enforcement Assistance Network nor the National Crime Information Center.

Officials said they are working with state and federal partner agencies to assist in the investigation into the cybersecurity incident and, the county’s IT department is working to get the systems back online as soon as possible.

As of Sunday, officials still had no projected timeframe for when these services might resume.


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