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Malware strikes the Virginia State Police, locks up systems

On Behalf of | May 1, 2017 | Criminal Defense

There are many ways that you can defend yourself if you’re accused of a crime. Sometimes, the most unusual ways come up when events outside your control take place. One of those events happened recently when a malware attack ended up costing the police around seven year’s worth of evidence.

Situations like this can be a huge benefit to your case, because if evidence isn’t able to be presented, then the charges against you may have to be dropped. What happened? The Virginia State Police suffered a malware attack that blocked it from updating the sex offender registry. In the end, the police were able to save their files, and no major systems were affected. That’s good this time, but this kind of outcome hasn’t always been the case.

In Dec. 2016, ransomware affected the Virginia State Police’s computers and main server. Yes, the police did have backup procedures prepared for the attack, but it wasn’t enough. The backup procedure hadn’t kicked in soon enough, and that meant the police had to follow through with the ransom or lose their files. As a result of that infection, the department lost around seven years of evidence spanning back to 2009.

For people facing a trial, the presentation of evidence is key to the prosecution’s claims. If the prosecution can’t get the right evidence to the court, then the case may not be able to be pursued. Your attorney can help you look into ways to defend yourself and to make sure evidence is prepared to go to court, so you know what to expect.

Source: Bleeping Computer, “Malware Blocks Virginia State Police From Updating Sex Offender Registry,” Catalin Cimpanu, April 29, 2017


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