Ransomware hit Louisiana’s state government hard yesterday, shutting down multiple websites and email systems after it fell victim for the second time in just a few months to a ransomware attack.

In a series of tweets, Louisiana state governor John Bel Edwards revealed that his office had activated a cybersecurity response team in response to an attack that had affected “some, but not all state servers.”

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The Louisiana Office of Technology Services (OTS) took the state’s servers down “out of an abundance of caution” to “prevent additional infection”, which had a predictable impact on many government agencies’ websites, online services, and email.

Amongst the affected agencies was the Department of Children and Family Services which tweeted that its child abuse and neglect hotline had been impacted.

It’s not the first time that Governor John Bel Edwards, who was re-elected at the weekend, has found himself tackling a ransomware attack.

In July the Governor declared Louisiana’s first-ever statewide emergency related to a cyber incident after five districts had their computer and phone systems disrupted by what was described as a “severe” ransomware attack that struck networks across the state, including those belonging to numerous government agencies and school districts.

Law enforcement agencies are said to be investigating the latest ransomware attack, which is said to be similar to the one which hit local school districts and government agencies in the summer.

Recent months have seen a spate of US states and cities struck by ransomware attacks, some of which have resulted in criminal gangs successfully extorting ransom payments worth millions of dollars.

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