Virginia legislative agencies and commissions were forced to shut down their computer systems and websites due to a ransomware attack that started on Sunday, local news sources report.
The incident began at the Department of Legislative Automated Systems and has so far affected all legislative branch websites, excluding the Legislative Information System on the General Assembly website, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Executive branch agencies of the state government are not affected.
Both the governor's office and Dave Burhop, director of the legislative IT agency, have confirmed the state received a ransom note but did not specify the amount demanded or any other details.
Officials say external expertise has been brought on to investigate the attack. The Department of Legislative Automated Services is reportedly working with the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA), which works with more than 60 agencies in the executive branch of state government. The Department of Legislative Automated Systems handles legislative IT sites separately from executive branch website.
The response also includes IT staff from the House and Senate, Capitol Police, and the Virginia State Police.
Read more details here.