Dec 18, 2019

New Orleans still dealing with fallout from ransomware attack

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New Orleans agencies are still relying on pen and paper for some city work as security experts try to get to the bottom of an apparent ransomware attack that hit the government on Friday.

Why it matters: "This really is the new normal," said Gov. John Bel Edwards, per Nola.com. "It seems this is happening every week to 10 days here in Louisiana."

  • Edwards twice declared states of emergency in 2019 over attacks on state agencies and school districts.

Details: The likely culprit in the New Orleans attack is a kind of ransomware called Ryuk that blocks access to data until a Bitcoin ransom is paid. The FBI is working with city officials on the forensic investigation. Nola.com has more.

The big picture: This year alone, 103 U.S. state and municipal governments were hit by ransomware attacks, according to a study by security company Emsisoft.

Go deeper: How cities can guard against ransomware attacks

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ADL official: The Jewish community is facing an "epidemic" in New York

Oren Segal, vice president of the Anti-Defamation League, said on CNN's "State of the Union" that New York's Jewish communities are facing an "epidemic" following a mass stabbing at the home of a Hasidic rabbi — roughly the 13th anti-Semitic attack in New York in the past few weeks.

Go deeperArrowDec 29, 2019

The privacy worries with smart cities

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Momentum for smart cities projects, which has been fed by big promises from industry and big hopes in government, is slowing down in the face of a wave of public skepticism.

Driving the news: Alphabet-owned Sidewalk Labs, which has proposed a futuristic smart-city development for Toronto's waterfront, has pledged not to sell personal data collected at the project or use it for advertising to assuage privacy concerns.

Go deeperArrowDec 24, 2019

States will be the battlegrounds for 2020 tech policy fights

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The tech industry's most consequential policy fights in 2020 will play out in the states, not Washington.

Why it matters: Momentum on a range of tech issues, from governing online privacy to regulating the gig economy, has stalled in D.C. as impeachment and election campaigns consume attention. State leaders and legislators are stepping in to fill the void. 

Go deeperArrowJan 2, 2020