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by Brandon Jarvis

A staffer for the Republican Caucus in the House of Delegates confirmed that a ransomware attack is taking place on the General Assembly’s cyber system. Governor Ralph Northam’s office told the Associated Press that he directed other agencies to pitch in and help them with the problem. Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin was notified of the situation his spokesperson says.

According to an email sent by the Division of Legislative Automated Systems (DLAS), the attack was taking place as early as Friday and they used an extremely sophisticated malware.

The depth of the attack on the system is not immediately clear at this time, but it appears part of the system for lawmakers to file legislation was hacked. A source familiar with the situation says the IT staff informed legislative employees that there was no timeline or specific ransom requested by the hackers.

This impacts all internal servers, including Bill Drafting, our Regulatory system, Budget System, File servers, and General Assembly Voicemail,” wrote Dave Burhop, the executive director of DLAS. “We are collaborating with Mandiant, VITA, State Police, the FBI and IT leaders in the House and Senate to determine the scope of the issue and plan for possible remediation.” 

According to DLAS, there was a breach this summer with someone using an employee’s credentials. That is when DLAS hired the cyber security firm Mandiant, who successfully contained that breach. They are still working for DLAS today, according to an email sent to legislators.

This is a developing situation. We will send updates to subscribers throughout the day as any new information is made available.

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