The Louisiana National Guard was called in to stop a series of cyberattacks aimed at small government offices across the state in recent weeks, Reuters reported Friday, citing two people with knowledge of the events, highlighting the cyber threat facing local governments in the run up to the 2020 U.S. presidential election. From the report: The situation in Louisiana follows a similar case in Washington state, according to a cybersecurity consultant familiar with the matter, where hackers infected some government offices with a type of malware known for deploying ransomware, which locks up systems and demands payment to regain access. Senior U.S. security officials have warned here since at least 2019 that ransomware poses a risk to the U.S. election, namely that an attack against certain state government offices around the election could disrupt systems needed to administer aspects of the vote. It is unclear if the hackers sought to target systems tied to the election in Louisiana or were simply hoping for a payday. Yet the attacks raised alarms because of the potential harm it could have led to and due to evidence suggesting a sophisticated hacking group was involved. Experts investigating the Louisiana incidents found a tool used by the hackers that was previously linked to a group associated with the North Korean government, according to a person familiar with the investigation.
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