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Orleans Parish Assessor’s Office still operating despite ransomware attack; no data stolen | Local Politics | #ramsonware | #comptiaplus | #cybersecurity | #informationsecurity


The Orleans Parish Assessor’s Office is the latest victim of ransomware attacks in the New Orleans region, a sign the coronavirus crisis has not deterred the most determined cybercriminals. 

A spokesman for Assessor Erroll Williams said Friday that the assessor’s office server was breached by ransomware, though its website remains operational. Hackers were not believed to have stolen sensitive information. 

“All office functions will continue, as the data critical to the operation of the office is still accessible,” spokesman Devin Johnson said. 

Last week’s cyberattack on Louisiana ITI College in Baton Rouge — which followed similar attacks in New Orleans and elsewhere in the state — s…

The assessor’s office, which operates out of New Orleans’ City Hall on Perdido Street but uses a separate computer system, is one of dozens of municipal and governmental agencies in Louisiana that has been attacked in the past year. 

They join more than 40 municipalities across the United States that have been prey for hackers, either because of outdated computer equipment, lax protections or a willingness to pay ransom. 

City Hall itself was hit in December by cybercriminals using Ryuk ransomware, which often works with secondary programs to lock up computers and demands payment to allow access. That attack took the city’s computers offline for months and cost officials more than $7 million to remediate. 

So too was the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center slammed in January by attackers, while a separate attack against the state cost state leaders at least $1.5 million last year.

Officials did not pay a ransom in either of those cases. 

The assessor’s office has been closed to the public for nearly a month now to stop the spread of COVID-19 among its staff and the public, as have other city agencies. But the recent attack suggests hackers have remained relentless even in current conditions.

The assessor would not say Friday if he was hit with the Ryuk ransomware or a different brand, whether he paid a ransom, and how much he expected his recovery costs to be. It was also unclear if the attack happened Friday or earlier this week. 

He said through a spokesman that the FBI was looking into the matter and that reevaluations for the 2021 tax year would continue despite the attack.

“We will continue to work closely with the FBI and defer to their investigation before further comment,” Johnson said.

The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center is the latest victim in string of cyberattacks that have forced computer shutdowns in the c…

The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, one of the cornerstones of New Orleans’ multibillion-dollar tourism economy, is the latest victim in a…

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