Hacktivists target Montana government computers

Posted at 10:16 PM, Jun 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-22 00:16:15-04

BOZEMAN – At both the state and local level, many government employees have received an internal email warning about a cybersecurity threat during the first two weeks of July.

The threat comes from so-called hacktivists who are targeting the agencies and industries in response to engagement with the Keystone XL pipeline. Phishing scams to retrieve internal data are the concern.

City of Bozeman Communications Coordinator Melody Milleur says an email was forwarded from the City IT department providing details about the threat and reminders for how to avoid becoming a victim. Tips included not to open suspicious emails and not to give out sensitive information.

Amber Conger, communications director for the State of Montana, would not discuss the threat or how many employees received a warning email due to it being a matter of security.

In a written statement Conger said, “The State of Montana has a robust cybersecurity program in place to mitigate cyber threats. The Department of Administration also works closely with local, state, and federal law enforcement to constantly monitor security issues and potential threats to state government, and takes appropriate action to minimize risk to public safety and to state property.”

The threat identifies July 1 to July 15 as when the attack, or attacks, will take place.