Capitol Ransomware Attack Shuts Down Congress

The Capitol Building was evacuated today when a ransomware attack shut down all building services, including air conditioning and power. According to William Thornton, the Capitol Building Services Manager, the attack on the computer systems used to control all of the building services started at 9:30 am this morning. “Since Congress was not in session today,” Thornton told reporters, “There were very few people in the Capitol Building or the six congressional office buildings affected by the attack. We have not yet been able to confirm that all personnel have left all seven buildings because our access control logs were also affected by the attack.” Johnathan Quest, spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Inquiry, confirmed that the FBI was investigating the incident. “It is way too early in the incident to be able to provide any details about our investigation,” Quest told reporters, “We do have agents on the scene and a cyber forensics team is enroute.” When asked about the apparent ransom demand, Quest told reporters that the United States does not pay ransoms to criminals or terrorists. That statement prompted immediate questions about whether this was a terrorist attack. Quest immediately responded: “We have no information about who the attackers are at this point in our investigation, but there are no indications that this is a terrorist attack.” A technical expert with Dragonfire Cyber, a company that works closely with the National Critical Infrastructure Security Operations Center (CI-SOC), told me that the attack on the capitol control systems did not start today. “To accomplish a shutdown of this magnitude, an attacker would have to have been in the computer system for at least a couple of weeks,” she said. Capitol Police are out in force at all seven buildings and the Washington, D.C. police department has a tactical command trailer parked near the Capitol. The President and Vice President have both been informed about the incident. The Vice-President’s office had no comment when asked it the Senate will meet tomorrow as scheduled. The House is not scheduled to meet in Washington this week. CAUTIONARY NOTE: This is a future news story –Future ICS Security NewsRead More