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EXPLORE NORTHEASTERN

New Orleans acted appropriately in quickly containing a cyberattack on the city’s computer servers, but more needs to be done in curbing the spread of such attacks on U.S. municipalities, says Stephen Flynn, the founding director of the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern.

The city is the latest municipality to be handicapped by ransomware, a type of malware that threatens to release an individual or organization’s data on a computer or blocks access to it unless a ransom is paid. The December 13 attack forced the city to declare a state of emergency and shut down most of its computers after ransomware and a string of phishing emails were detected.

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