HARRISBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania Senate Democrats discovered Friday morning that they were victims of a ransomware attack.
The attacked delivered malware to computers throughout the Senate Democratic Caucus IT network, Democratic Spokesperson Stacey Witalec said. Senate Democratic leader Jay Costa, D-Allegheny, explained the cyberattack forced a shutdown that made systems, and data, inaccessible to caucus members and employers.
According to the statement, all Senate Democrat offices remained open.
“Officials from the caucus have been in contact with law enforcement to investigate the incident and are working with Microsoft to restore the IT system. There is currently no indication that the caucus system was targeted or that any data has been compromised,” Costa said in the statement.
Ransonware is a type of malware which encrypts data on an infected system, then demands users pay ransom in digital currency that is difficult to trace, known as Bitcoin. In most cases, once the ransom is paid, a decryption key is provided to unlock the affected network and data.
The caucus said it will provide updates as more information becomes available.