The 2019 ransomware attack was the event that most influenced Baltimore city government’s approach to cybersecurity.
Consider the Baltimore City Information & Technology Department(BCIT) budget, which jumped by $12.5 million in the fiscal year following the attack. Moreover, both the city and state of Maryland, which appointed its first-ever data and privacy chiefs last year, is taking cybersecurity way more seriously than it did years ago.
But the 2019 attack was not the first to hit local government and institutional agencies, nor was it the last. Here’s a brief timeline of major cyberattacks in and around Baltimore during the last eight years.
- February 2014 — The personal information of more than 309,000 students, staff and alumni of the University of Maryland was compromised in a cyberattack that exposed names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and university identification numbers.
- June 2017 — Howard County‘s government website was hacked and showed messages supporting the Islamic State.
- March 2018 — Baltimore Police Department‘s computer-aided dispatch was hit with a cyberattack that put the 911 and 311 systems down for 17 hours.
- May 2019 — The City of Baltimore endured the infamous ransomware attack that shut down city services for months and cost the city millions of dollars.
- November 2020 — Baltimore County Public Schools shut down after a ransomware attack.
- June 2021 — Turning Point Clinic, Baltimore’s largest substance abuse treatment clinic, experienced a cyberattack that exposed patients’ information.
- December 2021 — The Maryland Health Department was hit with a ransomware attack that shut down services including the Baltimore city government’s COVID-19 tracker.
- December 2021 — Anne Arundel County is hit with a ransomware attack that was connected to software vulnerability in a human resources tool, which fire and police personnel use to track their hours.
If you know of any major cyberattacks in the Baltimore metro we might have missed, let us know at email@example.com, anytime.
Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.-30-