City of West Jordan hit by a ransomware attack; expert says education is the best defense

Jul 13, 2023, 8:00 PM | Updated: Jul 21, 2023, 1:53 pm

The city of West Jordan is dealing with a ransomware attack. The city says no personal or financial information has been compromised. However, the city says some of its data has been restored, and says it won't pay the demands of the attackers. (PHOTO: West Jordan City Hall | West Jordan City FB)

(PHOTO: West Jordan City Hall | West Jordan City FB)

WEST JORDAN, Utah — The city of West Jordan announced Thursday that it is the victim of a ransomware attack that began last month.

The city says no personal or financial information has been exposed as the attack continues on.

Earl Foote, CEO/founder of Nexus IT, joined KSL NewsRadio to explain what is going on behind the scenes.


“I think more than anything what is likely happening is that the city of West Jordan is still continuing forensic analysts of the incident,” he said. “And monitoring the situation to make sure there is no continuing sort of incidents or breaches along with any ransomware remaining in their system. And that can take a fair amount of time, depending on the amount of computers and systems involved.”

Avoiding the situation West Jordan ransomware attack

What can a city do to avoid being in this situation?

“That is a complex question,” Foote said. “Because these types of attacks are happening not for cities. But for businesses worldwide on a significant scale and on a daily basis.”

Foote says even if you take all of the preventative measures, there are still methods an attacker can use to gain access to systems or deploy ransomware.

“Most of those methods include what we call human engineering,” Foote said. “By that what I mean is that generally about 90 or 95 percent of cyber security incidents involve human interaction with a nefarious attachment on an email or a link in an email.”

Foote says the most important thing anyone can do to prevent a ransomware attack is education. And learn how to detect potential threats. 

West Jordan says some of its data is back up. The city says the attackers are demanding hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, the city says it is not going to pay.

Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News can be heard on weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m.

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City of West Jordan hit by a ransomware attack; expert says education is the best defense