Louisiana sheriff’s office targeted in cyberattack attempt

December 16, 2019 GMT

ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) — A Louisiana parish sheriff’s office is operating its booking system and other processes on paper after learning over the weekend it had been targeted in a cyberattack, the sheriff said.

Sheriff William Earl Hilton told KALB-TV that it was notified on Sunday by the state’s Fusion Center that it was being hacked, prompting it to shut down all computers. He said state officials are addressing the problem from Baton Rouge, but computer systems could remain down for days.

The office is operating its booking system and continuing other processes on paper, Hilton said.

In Washington Parish, Chief Mike Haley said they had been notified by the Fusion Center on Friday that someone was also trying to target their system. Haley said they monitored it closely but no one had been able to get into their system: “”We came close but we did not get it.”

The weekend cyberattack comes after a different attack in New Orleans shut down city government computers. It’s unclear if the attacks are related.

The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles and several other state agencies fell victim to similar ransomware attacks last month, news outlets reported. The state didn’t lose any data and didn’t pay the hackers’ ransom in those attacks.


This story has been corrected to remove reference to Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office.