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Analysis: Cybercrime costing Georgia, state ranks ninth

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(The Center Square) – Georgia ranked among the states that experienced the most cybercrime losses, which cost the state roughly $300 million in 2023.

According to CyberNut, the Peach State ranked ninth and accounted for more than 2.4% of the total cybercrime losses in the U.S. in 2023, as cybercrime surged to more than $12.5 billion in losses nationwide. California topped the list.

“The state houses numerous banks and financial institutions, attracting cybercriminals seeking to exploit vulnerabilities in the financial sector,” CyberNut CEO Oliver Page said in an announcement. Page’s representative did not respond to a request from The Center Square.

Local governments have taken notice, and Fulton County faced a “cybersecurity incident” earlier this year after officials “detected suspicious activity” on the county’s network, which resulted in “widespread system outages.”

In February, the FBI and the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency said they took “control of LockBit’s services.” LockBit, which the NCA called “the world’s most harmful cybercrime group,” is reportedly to blame for the Fulton County outage, which disrupted county services, including property tax electronic payments.

Additionally, a state lawmaker also called for Georgia to hasten the creation of a state cyber command following a Russian cyber-attack that hit the University System of Georgia and several federal agencies. However, Sen. Jason Anavitarte, R-Dallas, did not respond to a request for more information on the proposed state cyber command.

“When it comes to a cyberattack involving our local governments, it’s a matter when, not if,” Bernard Coxton, director of homeland security and emergency preparedness at Atlanta Regional Commission, said in a statement. The ARC recently held a joint cyberterrorism tabletop exercise with roughly 150 officials from Atlanta and Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties.

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