The town of Frederick announced Thursday that its computer network may have been hacked by a group known to carry out ransomware attacks. However, almost a week later, the town’s system showed no signs of being infiltrated by ransomware.
“The town of Frederick recently became aware of an incident involving unauthorized activity within the town’s computer network,” a news release released by the town on Tuesday. “In particular, a group associated with the ransomware attacks says it has gained access to the town’s network.”
A type of malicious software, ransomware typically locks users from their professional or personal computer system until they agree to pay a ransom.
“Upon receipt of these allegations, (the town of Frederick) took immediate steps to secure its network against any possible intrusion,” the news statement said. “(The town of Frederick) notifies law enforcement, including the FBI.”
Vikki Migoya, a public affairs officer at the FBI Denver Field Office, confirmed that the bureau was aware of the situation and communications in the town of Frederick. Migoya said the FBI “regularly advises public and private sector colleagues about cyber threats.”
The town of Frederick remains an external digital forensics and incident response company to help investigate the incident. Investigators will try to determine if any unauthorized individuals have access to the town’s computer network and what, if any, personal data may have been affected.
“The town of Frederick has taken the security of the data it receives and is taking it very seriously,” the news statement said. “If we become aware of any personal information affected by the incident, the town of Frederick will promptly notify the individuals affected and provide them with specific steps to take to protect their personal data.”
It is unclear which group claims to have access to the town’s network and whether it is asking for a financial compensation.
Angela Wilson, the town’s Frederick communications and engagement manager, said in an email on Wednesday that the town is still in the process of investigating the incident but would not comment further.
“At this time, we don’t have any further information to release,” Wilson said.
The town remains that the incident has no effect on any of its services or operations.