Virginia State Police HQ

A malware infection affecting servers belonging to the Virginia State Police (VSP) has shut down the department's email system, along with its ability to update the Virginia Sex Offender and Crimes Against Children Registry (SOR).

The infection took root Wednesday and was removed by Thursday afternoon after VSP staffers contacted the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) and the Northrup Grumman, a cyber-security company.

The malware didn't have a direct impact on normal field operations, said a VSP spokesperson in a canned press release. While VSP staffers couldn't be reached via email, they remained accessible via telephone.

Other VSP systems, such as those for traffic crash investigations, traffic enforcement, criminal investigations, firearms transactions, or background checks, weren't affected.

The malware, about which the spokesperson didn't reveal any details, prevented officers from updating the database and the website of the state's sex offender's registry. The SOR website remained accessible for the public during that time.

The incident had a happy ending, as everything went back to normal by the end of the week. The same cannot be said for the Cockrell Hill Police Department in the state of Texas.

Back in December 2016, a ransomware infection took root on the department's main server. Because the backup procedure kicked in after the ransomware already infected the machine, the department lost years worth of evidence, going back to 2009.

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