Ransomware Attack Shuts Down Baltimore County Public Schools

The Baltimore County Public Schools system today canceled classed and closed offices after it was hit with a ransomware attack that led to a systemic shutdown of the school system's network information systems. https://twitter.com/BaltCoPS/status/1331604801264771072 Ransomware attacks typically encrypt files and lock them up so users can’t access them. The attackers then demand a ransom amount, typically in Bitcoin digital currency, in exchange for the decryption keys to unlock the files. Stay tuned to Conduit Street…

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St. Mary’s Announces Broadband Request for Proposal

The Commissioners of St. Mary's County today announced the Request for Proposal (RFP) for community broadband is open for interested broadband providers. Reliable internet access in St. Mary's County has been a top priority of the Commissioners, and on September 15, the Commissioners allocated $100,000 toward formally assessing local broadband capabilities. To date, more than 2,400 households and 90-employers have responded to the broadband assessment surveys. According to a St. Mary's County press release: For…

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Anne Arundel Public Library to Offer Wi-Fi Hotspot Kits and Chromebooks

Anne Arundel County Public Library (AACPL) will now allow members to borrow Wi-Fi hotspot kits and Chromebooks thanks to funding from the Library Foundation. Wi-Fi hotspots will allow for library members to connect to the internet from a computer, phone, Roku, or other device. Hotspots will connect anywhere that has Sprint LTE data service and can be used at home, at work, or on the go. There are currently 50 available kits that can be…

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County Ballot Questions: Here’s What We Know

Across Maryland, voters considered a number of ballot questions concerning county governance and structure. Here, Conduit Street provides the latest results for each county-specific ballot question. Allegany, Calvert, Caroline, Carroll, Charles, Dorchester, Garrett, Harford, Kent, Queen Anne's, St. Mary's, Somerset, Washington, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties did not present voters with any county-specific ballot questions. Vote totals and percentages in this article are based on unofficial results of the Maryland State Board of Elections as of Thursday, November 5,…

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Feds Warn of Ransomware Targeting Healthcare and Public Health Sectors

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are warning of an imminent threat to U.S. hospitals and healthcare providers. The agencies have credible information that malicious cyber actors are targeting the healthcare and public health sectors with malware such as Ryuk, Conti, TrickBot, and BazarLoader. The use of this malware can result in ransomware attacks, disruption of healthcare services, and data theft.…

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Montgomery County Council Member Craig Rice to Co-Chair NACo Broadband Task Force

National Association of Counties (NACo) President Gary Moore announced Montgomery County Council Member Craig Rice will co-chair the newly formed broadband task force to study the lack of reliable broadband with a particular focus on the challenges facing underserved communities. The task force, comprised of nearly three dozen county government officials from across the country, will examine public and private sector efforts to deploy broadband and create a basis for local governments to help bridge…

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House Subcommittees Briefed by Experts and Agencies on Telehealth in Maryland

House Health Occupations and Longterm Care Subcommittee and Health Insurance Subcommittee jointly briefed on the successes, challenges, and future of telehealth in Maryland.  The subcommittees heard from several panels including representatives from Harvard Medical School, the Center of Health Information Technology and Innovative Care Delivery, the Maryland Insurance Administration, and the Maryland Department of Health. Maryland Matters reports on data and trends shared by the panels: Prior to COVID-19, Maryland’s five primary insurers covered 719…

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Comcast to Expand Broadband Service in Cecil

Cecil County Government and the Maryland Governor’s Office of Rural Broadband announced today that Comcast has begun a network expansion project to extend broadband service to more than 61 addresses in Cecil County. In addition to high-speed internet service, residential customers in the expansion area will have access to all Xfinity services, including the Xfinity X1 video platform, Xfinity Home, Xfinity Voice, and Xfinity Mobile. Comcast has already commenced with the detailed engineering and preparation…

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Harford Streamlines Residential Building Permits Via Online Portal

Harford County continues to bring more services online to make it easier and more efficient to do business. Through the Harford County ePermit Center, home builders can complete the entire permitting process for residential building permits for new single-family and two-family homes and townhouses. Paper permit applications are no longer required. “This new online service is one-stop shopping for residential building permits, from application through issuance,” County Executive Barry Glassman said. “The process is faster,…

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Maryland’s DoIT Releases Four Year Plan and Goals, Includes Broadband Access for All

The Maryland Department of Information Technology (DoIT) recently released a report containing a four year master plan for the state's technology infrastructure and security systems. DoIT's "Statewide Information Technology Master Plan" takes a look at goals and changes the department is hoping to implement and improve on from July 2020 to June 30, 2023. From affordable broadband access for all Marylanders by 2022 to smaller but meaningful changes such as a one-stop digital stop for…

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