[BreachExchange] La Salle County ransomware attack cost an estimated $500,000; insurance will cover almost all expenses

Destry Winant destry at riskbasedsecurity.com
Fri Jun 12 09:17:02 EDT 2020


Expenses still are rolling in from a February ransomware attack on La
Salle County governments.

The county will be able to pay only a $5,000 deductible to its
insurance company to cover all the costs, including hundreds of hours
of overtime put in by its IT staff.

IT Director John Haag said at a finance committee meeting last week
the total cost of the ransomware attack could be about $500,000 when
it’s all said and done.

He told the committee the investigation alone cost more than $100,000.

The county has spent $66,250.76 on various new equipment, which will
be reimbursed by the insurance company.

Haag told the finance committee he makes sure he checks with the
insurance company first before buying new equipment to alleviate any
disputes later. He said some tools bought to remedy the attack may not
be reimbursed, because insurance typically covers what’s been lost.

Nikki Baer of the La Salle County auditor’s office said her office
will be tracking potential losses in other departments as a result of
the ransomware attack.

The county’s governmental offices were infected with the attack Feb.
23. The incident took down email accounts, limited access to documents
and caused many county services to be provided “the old-fashioned way”
with paper.

Ransomware is a malicious software attack designed to block access to
a computer system until a ransom is paid – the county didn’t pay.

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