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Are Southwest Florida cities prepared for a major cyber attack?

Posted at 10:18 PM, May 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-31 07:16:35-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Craig Judson fixes computers for a living, saving files after a cyber attack which can happen by opening an email.

“If you have a bad attachment on there then that could be the end of things,” Judson said.

The City of Baltimore had a ransomware attack on the city’s entire computer system, including some hospitals. Hackers used an old NSA tool called “Eternal Blue” that allows hackers to spread malware faster and farther than they ever could.

The damage could have been far less if the city’s software and backups were up-to-date.

“Preventative maintenance is key for any business,” Judson said. “You need your firewalls, and as I said, you need your backups, you know how they’re being done where they’re being done, a good anti-virus program.”

Cities without proper cybersecurity and protection are more vulnerable to these attacks, explaining why they are happening more frequently. NPR reports there have been 20 local municipalities that had ransomware attacks by cybercriminals this year.

Cape Coral, Naples and Punta Gorda say they keep their security systems up-to-date and take proactive measures to make sure cybercriminals don’t hack the system.