Alaska gets $7m security upgrade after major attack

In January, cyberattackers waltzed through over 100 Alaska state computers, and the FBI and CERT investigated. That attack, even though it was unsuccessful, has prompted a $7 million security upgrade.

In January, cyberattackers waltzed through over 100 Alaska state computers, datamining for personally identifiable information that could be used for identity theft. According to state officials, nothing was taken. But the breach was big enough to bring the FBI and the Dept. of Homeland Security onto the case.

That attack, even though it was unsuccessful, has prompted a $7  million security upgrade, the Alaska Daily News reports. "It was kind of a wake-up call," allows an  official from the state's Dept. of Administration.

It seems Alaska needed a little waking up because a  month after the attacks officials were claiming everything was A-OK. In a February Daily News article by reporter Sean Cockerham, IT officials refused comment and did not alert the state Legislature.

[State Rep. Pete] Kott said the department was slow in letting the Legislature know about the problem. He said his office got wind of it and had to call state officials and ask what was going on.

"They were shocked that we even knew about it," Kott said Wednesday.

Stan Herrera, the state's director of enterprise technology services, said Tuesday that he was unaware of an FBI investigation.

 Apparently they received recommendations from DHS' Computer Emergency Readiness Team but refused to release the report under instructions from DHS.