BACK TO OUR REGULARLY-SCHEDULED INCOMPETENCE: Louisiana OMV Re-Opens Monday…

…maybe. Office of Motor Vehicles locations have been closed all week thanks to a cyberattack which has clobbered Louisiana’s state government’s online operations, and OMV is now punting the whole thing until next week in the assumption maybe it’ll get better by then.

Louisiana drivers trying to get license renewals, car registrations and other services through the Office of Motor Vehicles will have to keep waiting.

OMV offices around the state are shuttered until Monday, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced. Officials believe by Nov. 25, one week after an attempted ransomware attack was discovered, the OMV’s computer systems will be restored to working order.

The governor made the announcement Thursday morning, apologizing for the inconvenience.

An attempted cyberattack that disrupted state servers on Monday has caused larger problems at the Office of Motor Vehicles than at most other state agencies. The cyberattack was likely the result of a phishing email that was sent to various administrative state staff members.

Plans to reopen OMV locations keep getting pushed back, as the state’s technology services office continues its work to restore network and online services.

“[The attack] initiated sort of right as we were walking in the door for the day,” said Dustin Glover, the state’s chief information security officer. “The goal of the attacker is to lock you out of your data so they can get some money.”

Glover said that despite the disruption, the state caught the problem early and began working it immediately. He said that out of 5,000 servers, 132 were confirmed to have been compromised and that 1,600 of 35,000 work stations were compromised.

The Office of Motor Vehicles issued a statement Wednesday that gave no estimate for opening its locations around Louisiana. The agency said it will announce openings as electronic services are restored, tested and ready for use.

Some state websites were functional by Tuesday, but others still aren’t back up and running.

Needless to say this doesn’t say good things about the John Bel Edwards administration and its commitment to cybersecurity. But hey – he’s guilty of a lot worse than this and the voters gave him four more years, so let’s manage your expectations and standards. You can wait until Monday, or until after Thanksgiving, or until a tax hike provides enough revenues to pay the computer hacker for his ransomware, before you renew your license.

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