Ransomware attacks on New Orleans, other Louisiana entities, part of growing trend

Last week’s cyberattack on Louisiana ITI College in Baton Rouge — which followed similar attacks in New Orleans and elsewhere in the state — suggests that hackers have no intention of leaving Louisiana alone. 

If that’s the case, the state is in good company. More than 110 local and state governments across the country have faced similar problems, as cybersecurity, once a low priority for many jurisdictions, has become a top concern in the last year. 

The attack method of choice is ransomware: malicious software that locks up computers and demands payment from its victims to allow them access. While it is not a new phenomenon, it has boomed as some governments, overwhelmed by sophisticated technology, have paid out big sums that have kept the thieves coming.