The following is an opinion and news analysis by Rich Weinstein
On May 21st, the City of Philadelphia shut down its computer system as a precaution after a virus was found. Although this virus has not been officially tied to the ransomeware attacks on other court systems (Baltimore, Allentown, San Antonio), the effect is the same. The civil court system has essentially ground to a halt and has been thrown back to the paper-age.
Today was the scheduled hearing date in Philly for a case my business has had pending for about a month. When my partner arrived at the courthouse, he found that we weren’t even listed on the docket.
He and I own rentals, and after years of aggravation we’re finally down to our last property. We have an agreement of sale contingent on the tenant vacating. Not only has the tenant refused to vacate, but they’re also not paying rent and running up utility bills we are responsible for. We’re basically helpless and at the financial disposal of the tenant until we get our day in court.
This is just a very small taste of how cyber attacks impact us. When the media is sympathetic to the victim of a cyber attack (i.e. the DNC or Team Clinton), we get 3 years of Russiagate. When the victim is the little guy, the national political media is nowhere to be found.
Although there was actually an article in the New York Times on May 25 about these cyber attacks, you probably didn’t hear about it. That was the same day US intelligence people were quoted in the NYT as objecting to Trump declassifying “Spy-gate” information. They claimed it would “risk assets.”
I’ll give you one guess as to which story got all the subsequent media pickup.
Rich Weinstein is an independent financial consultant in Philadelphia. He was once referred to as “Obamacare’s Digital Menace.”