Pa. State Senate Democrats say they are being held cyber-hostage

Mladen Antonov
Published: .
Updated: .

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Pennsylvania’s Senate Democrats say they are in contact with the FBI and state attorney general’s office after a “ransomware” cyberattack shut down their computer systems.

The attack Friday left lawmakers and staff in the caucus unable to access their computer network or data.

State Sen. Jay Costa says the ransomware attack was discovered Friday morning. Citing the investigation, caucus officials aren’t saying what, if any, ransom was demanded.

A ransomware attack is typically aimed at stealing sensitive information in an attempt to be paid for the data’s return, often in a digital currency.

At this time, all Senate Democrat offices remain open, CBS affiliate WHP reports.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s office says the attack hasn’t affected the state’s networks, which are separate from the Senate Democrats’ computers. An FBI spokeswoman in Philadelphia didn’t immediately have any information about the case. The attorney general’s office says it is taking the cyberattack very seriously.

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