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Lake George Land Conservancy targeted in ransomware attack

Lake George Land Conservancy targeted in ransomware attack

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BOLTON — The Lake George Land Conservancy is in the process of upgrading its servers after experiencing a ransomware attack last month.

The organization, which works to preserve land surrounding Lake George, announced the Sept. 23 security breach in a letter posted to its website Wednesday.

“We immediately took steps to address the breach, secure our data, and determine the extent of organizational data that may have been compromised,” Jamie Brown, the organization’s executive director, wrote in the letter.

Brown, in the letter, noted that personal information on the organization’s donors was not exposed during the attack because it is stored on a separate cloud-based sever that was not compromised.

A ransomware attack is when hackers block access to a computer system or certain files. The only way to regain access to the compromised data in most cases is by paying a ransom.

On Friday, Brown told The Post-Star it’s unclear why the organization was targeted.

He added the organization has been working with its data-storage provider, StoredTech, to bolster its security infrastructure since the attack, but declined to give specifics.

“What we’re trying to do is upgrade our internal stuff … to prevent anything like this from happening again,” Brown said.

Brown said the organization did not pay any ransoms because the compromised files were backed up on a separate server. Instead, the compromised files were simply deleted and new versions were uploaded.

The hackers were asking for several Bitcoins, a form of cryptocurrency, in exchange for each file, Brown said.

Law enforcement officials have not been contacted since there was no need to pay ransom, Brown said.

Brown said the organization has never experienced a cyberattack before, but noted that such attacks are becoming more common, which is why the organization is looking into bolstering its cybersecurity.

“I think that, unfortunately, that this is something that’s pretty commonplace at this point,” he said. “The best thing we can do is just beef up our defenses and make sure these folks can’t get in and do this type of thing.”

Chad Arnold is a reporter for The Post-Star covering the city of Glens Falls and the town and village of Lake George. Follow him on Twitter @ChadGArnold.

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