Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 24

ACCG MEMBER SERVICES

ACCG Technical Assistance

Is Your County Prepared
to Buy Bitcoin to

Pay Ransom?
ACCG Information Technology Services
By Brent Williams
Customer Relations Director
ACCG
ACCG'S MEMBER COUNTIES have Information Technology (IT)
systems that connect a wide variety of different functions from accounting
to equipment monitoring, court systems and development authorities. All
of those operations must communicate in order to provide efficient and
cost-effective services to Georgia's citizens. This is normally accomplished
through a computer network that has been built over a long period of
time. Protecting every computer and network device from intrusion can
be a difficult task, requiring constant monitoring and protection while
using multiple integrated protection systems. ACCG has launched a new
program to assist counties with information technology services such as
cybersecurity protection and backups called ACCG SuITe.
Computer language and the operation of complex computer programs
can be difficult to understand for many. Highly skilled computer hackers
in overseas countries use software to attempt to enter centralized
networks (which most all governments have) through any device
connected to the network. Someone can unknowingly open an
attachment in an email or the network can be entered through other
means of trickery. In simple terms, every computer device connected
to a network should have a "locked door" preventing anyone without
proper authorization and passwords from entering. Just like thieves walk
through neighborhoods and check for unlocked doors, the hackers use
the internet and software programs to check whether your doors are
locked or unlocked. If unlocked (not adequately protected) they enter the
network and all of your data and systems can be stolen or compromised.
As many of you have read in the news, local governments are
becoming the victims of ransomware attacks. A number of our Georgia
county and city governments have had their computer systems hacked
24

and have had to pay ransom in Bitcoin (a type of digital currency) to
unlock their systems and to retrieve their data. Notification usually
begins with someone reporting that email or programs are not working
followed by a very descriptive email from the thieves informing you
what has happened and the amount of the payment required to "unlock
and retrieve" your data with a payment deadline. Normally, the data is
not corrupted if you choose to pay the requested amount quickly, but
recent ransomware demands have included an acceleration clause
with increased payment amounts and threats of data corruption. They
even provide all of the information needed on how to set up a digital
currency account and how to purchase Bitcoin as most counties
probably have never purchased any type of digital currency. Unlike
large companies and retailers who maintain credit card information
and personal data that is sold for identity theft, this business model
appears to just lock your computer system and request payment for
it to be unlocked.
This is how many of them work. Your files are encrypted using a randomly
generated key on your computer system. The ransomware uses the key to
block your initial IT responders' recovery efforts. After encrypting files of
interest, the ransomware wipes out the extra storage space on the hard
drive to make recovery efforts virtually impossible. The ransomware also
deletes all backup files from the local system and any network-accessible
drives. When the encryption is complete, the ransomware displays an
extortion message on your system that demands a Bitcoin amount to
receive the key needed to unlock and recover the files.
This is a very complex and sophisticated hacking program that IT staff
cannot correct in the short timeline given before payment is required or
Georgia County Government



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide

ACCG District Map
ACCG Area Map
President’s Message
Director’s Desk
ACCG Board of Managers
ACCG Boards of Trustees and Directors
ACCG Staff
ACCG Insurance Programs
ACCG Technical Assistance
ACCG Equipment Leasing Program
ACCG Retirement Services
ACCG Partners Program Overview
Coast2Coast
Dude Solutions
Gas South
Georgia United Credit Union
GovDeals
Municode
U.S. Communities
ACCG Partners Alpha Listing
ACCG Partners Specialty Area Listing
Professional Directory Marketplace
Index of Advertisers
Advertisers.com
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - Intro
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - cover1
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - cover2
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 3
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 4
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 5
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 6
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 7
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - ACCG District Map
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - ACCG Area Map
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 10
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - President’s Message
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - Director’s Desk
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - ACCG Board of Managers
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 14
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 15
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 16
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - ACCG Boards of Trustees and Directors
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - ACCG Staff
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 19
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 20
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 21
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - ACCG Insurance Programs
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 23
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - ACCG Technical Assistance
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 25
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - ACCG Equipment Leasing Program
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 27
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - ACCG Retirement Services
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 29
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - ACCG Partners Program Overview
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - Coast2Coast
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 32
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 33
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - Dude Solutions
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 35
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - Gas South
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 37
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - Georgia United Credit Union
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 39
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - GovDeals
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 41
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - Municode
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 43
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - U.S. Communities
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 45
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 46
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - ACCG Partners Alpha Listing
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 48
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 49
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 50
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - 51
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - ACCG Partners Specialty Area Listing
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - Professional Directory Marketplace
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - Advertisers.com
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - cover3
Georgia County Government - 2018 Member Services Guide - cover4
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