A Ransomware-related attack has left an Albuquerque area jail insecure the week before. The attack blocked access to the jail’s cameras and rendered the doors that are automatically unusable. The authorities put the prison on lockdown because they did not be able to access cameras in the prison.
According to The Albuquerque Journal, visitors were barred from accessing the Metropolitan Detention Center as the facility was in lockdown. Staff members were unable to search the records of inmates as all online services were down as well following an attack by ransomware.
An urgent investigation filed by the county disclosed that the attack had ruined the databases of the prison. The database was filled with all records of inmates as well as reports of fighting, force use as well as allegations of sexual assault.
The prison is in danger because it is unable to not keep up with the demands of confinement. The county has a requirement that jails allow inmates access to phone lines as well as other gadgets.
The ransomware attack affected the entire Bernalillo County, not just the detention center. Because of this, officials were unable to access local databases. The public offices were closed and the county office headquarters only partially opened.
These kinds of attacks are now among the most significant threats facing governments as well as private companies. As per the US Treasury, ransomware attacks in 2021 surpass previous records.
According to the Source News Network According to Source NM, the Metropolitan Detention Center in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, was put in lockdown on the morning of the 5th of January, 2022 after cyberattackers hacked into Bernalillo County systems and deployed malware.
The local government system was affected by the cyberattack, which included those that manage the prison.
The inmates were forced to remain inside their cells because the ransomware virus reportedly not only shut down the internet in the institution but also deprived staff of the data management servers as well as cameras for security.
The incident was revealed in court documents, and an attorney representing the prisoners, claiming that their rights under the Constitution were breached because of the lockdown that was abruptly imposed, which also led to visits being removed.
There was also concern over the absence of internet access and inmates being having to use payphones only to contact court officials.
The jail’s employees, as well, relied on unreliable cellular connections to make calls or access email, as well as video-conferencing-based court proceedings – common throughout the United States due to COVID-19 and could not be held during the time of lockdown.
Many databases are believed to have been damaged by the cyberattacks such as an incident tracker that records the fights and attacks of inmates as well as claims of sexual assault.
Additionally, due to the lack of access to data or camera feeds the guards were not able to operate the automatic doors. However, keys that were physically accessible were still in use, and access to the system was restored by the evening of 5 January.
Federal law enforcement officials have been contacted. However, the lockdown suddenness has led to the prison could not be able to comply with a long-standing legal decision and settlement related to allegations of poor conditions in the prison.
According to the Register at the time of 12 January, an official at the prison confirmed that the services “are still being repaired.”
In a press release dated 10 January, Bernalillo County said employees work remotely while “the county assesses and recovers from cyber issues affecting certain computer systems,” and normal operations are not yet set to be restored.
Officials from the county added they have stated that “no in-person visitation” is permitted “until further notice” at the prison as well as “phone contact is limited.”
Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office Advisory and Review Board (SOARB) has canceled the meeting of its most recent in the wake of “a computer network issue affecting certain computer systems of Bernalillo County.”
Correction An earlier version of this story stated that the impact of the cyberattack on the facility was initially published in The Albuquerque Journal. Actually, Source New Mexico broke the story. We are sorry for the mistake.