The Canadian city of St. Marys, Ontario, has been hit by a ransomware assault that has locked workers out of inner techniques and encrypted information.

The small city of round 7,500 residents appears to be the newest goal of the infamous LockBit ransomware group. On July twenty second, a submit on LockBit’s darkish website online listed townofstmarys.com as a sufferer of the ransomware and previewed recordsdata that had been stolen and encrypted.

LockBit ransom itemizing for the City of St. Marys

In a telephone name, St. Marys Mayor Al Strathdee informed The Verge that the city was responding to the assault with the assistance of a workforce of consultants.

“To be trustworthy, we’re in considerably of a state of shock,” Strathdee mentioned. “It’s not a superb feeling to be focused, however the consultants we’ve employed have recognized what the risk is and are strolling us by means of learn how to reply. Police have an interest and have devoted assets to the case … there are folks right here engaged on it 24/7.”

Strathdee mentioned that after techniques had been locked, the city had obtained a ransom demand from the LockBit ransomware gang however had not paid something thus far. Generally, the Canadian authorities’s cybersecurity steering discouraged the paying of ransoms, Strathdee mentioned, however the city would observe the incident workforce’s recommendation on learn how to interact additional.

Screenshots shared on the LockBit website present the file construction of a Home windows working system, containing directories comparable to municipal operations like finance, well being and security, sewage remedy, property recordsdata, and public works. Per LockBit’s commonplace working strategies, the city was given a deadline by which to pay to have their techniques unlocked or else see the info printed on-line.

Brett O’Reilly, communications supervisor for the city of St. Marys, directed The Verge to a press statement issued by St. Marys by which the city gave additional particulars. Per the assertion, important municipal companies like transit and water techniques have been unaffected by the incident, and the city is making an attempt to unlock IT techniques and restore backup information.

In keeping with an evaluation by Recorded Future, the LockBit group alone took credit score for 50 ransomware incidents in June 2022, making it probably the most prolific international ransomware group. In actual fact, St. Marys is the second small city to be focused by LockBit within the area of simply over per week: on July 14th, LockBit listed information from the city of Frederick, Colorado (inhabitants 15,000) as having been hacked, a declare that’s at present under investigation by town officials. The LockBit itemizing for Frederick at present calls for a ransom of $200,000 to not publish the info.

More and more, smaller municipalities are discovering themselves the targets of refined international ransomware teams with in depth technical information and assets. In March, the FBI cyber division published a notification to non-public business companions of presidency businesses, noting that ransomware assaults had been “straining native US governments and public companies.”

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