United States: Cyber ​​attack paralyzes American prison and forces authorities to confine inmates in their cells


For now, no details have been released as to the identity of the hackers or the nature of their requests.

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A ransomware attack with serious consequences. The incident brought the prison in Bernalillo County, New Mexico (United States) to a standstill, rendering surveillance cameras inoperative and forcing authorities to confine inmates to their cells, according to official documents. This attack, which occurred during the first week of January, is the work of computer hackers who managed to break into the system that controls the prison’s servers and internet access.

Asked by AFP, the local authorities had not reacted on Wednesday January 12 in the afternoon. For now, no details have been released as to the identity of the hackers or the nature of their requests.

“The lack of video surveillance raises real concerns for the safety of staff and detainees” when the latter are out of their cells, can we read in a document sent to a local court on January 6? As a result, “the detainees are temporarily confined to their cells” and deprived of activities, the only exception mentioned relating to possible medical care.

The attack even briefly disabled the automatic doors of the penitentiary, forcing staff to open and lock each gate manually when prisoners went to the shower or for a walk.

The ransomware attack not only targeted the jail but many other utilities in New Mexico’s most populous Bernalillo County, in the Albuquerque area. In a press release dated January 10, the county explained to its citizens that it was still affected by “computer problems” resulting from this attack, preventing for example the delivery of marriage certificates, registration on electoral rolls or registration of real estate transactions.



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