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The 10 Biggest Ransomware Attacks of 2019

Multinational manufacturers and U.S. city and county governments spent more $176 million responding to the biggest ransomware attacks of 2019, spending on everything from rebuilding networks and restoring backups to paying the hackers ransom.

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5. New Orleans

Recovery And Mitigation Costs: At Least $3 million  

New Orleans was made aware of a ransomware attack of Dec. 13 after an employee clicked on a link in a phishing email and provided their credentials, resulting in a large volume of phishing emails showing up in the city’s system. Those behind the attacks are believed to have used Ryuk, a piece of malware first discovered 16 months ago that’s popular with criminal groups in eastern Europe and Russia.

Only about 10 percent of the city’s 450 servers and more than 3,500 laptops had been re-imaged five days after the attack, with New Orleans focused on getting critical systems up and running in time for the holiday and Carnival season. No city data was lost in the attack and no demands for payment have been made, according to Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

Cantrell told WWL-TV that she expected the cost of the attack would exceed the $3 million cyberinsurance policy the city has in place, and that she will seek to increase the policy to $10 million next year. Within a few days of the attack, Fox News said New Orleans had incurred nearly $1 million in costs, all of which will be covered by cybersecurity insurance.

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