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Ransomware Attack on the Alameda County Bar Association (ACBA)


A ransomware cyberattack locked the ACBA out of all of their computers and servers.


Symbio’s Virtual Desktop Infrastructure: an affordable enterprise-level solution for small and medium-size organizations.


No ransom was paid, there was minimal downtime and no data or productivity loss resulted from the attack.

Our partnership with the Alameda County Bar Association (ACBA) started in 2012. ACBA is a professional membership association for lawyers and other members of the legal profession. Their goal and their mandate is to facilitate equal access to justice through free legal services to low-income residents of Alameda County. 

Like many organizations at the start of the pandemic, the ACBA needed help transitioning their 30 or so employees to a work from home environment.

Our remote first platform (cloud desktops) ensures for full file accessibility for you and your team from anywhere. Need access to files, emails, or applications from anywhere? Our remote first platform (cloud desktops) ensures for full file accessibility for you and your team from anywhere.


Cyberattacks are not new, but the transition to a hybrid workforce as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has corporations struggling to safeguard their assets.

Ransomware has been on the rise since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and like the pandemic itself, no one is immune to a cyberattack. Companies have become more vulnerable as they adapted to an operating model in which working from home has become the new normal.

This transition has been far from gradual, which means most companies have not been able to check all the boxes related to providing their employees with a “cyber-safe” remote-working environment.


Ransomware cyberattacks can affect everyone:

  • Public Health: An October attack on the University of Vermont Medical Centre cost them $64 million.
  • Local Governments: A May 2019 attack on Baltimore cost them $18.2 million and took out the city’s 911 dispatch system.
  • The average downtime from an attack is 21 days, and even after paying the ransom, it takes an average of 287 days to fully recover.

It’s important to note that when employees work from home, they do not enjoy the same level of malware protection from a corporate environment and, as a result, increase their exposure to threats.


Just Another Day in the Office.

In 2019, when Tiela Chalmers started a regular day at her workplace as CEO of the Alameda County Bar Association, she had no idea her day would not turn out as originally planned. A ransomware cyberattack had locked the entire Alameda County Bar Association out of all of their computers and servers.

“You never expect to turn on your computer first thing in the morning and find out your company is the victim of a cyberattack. It was a scary feeling, and I didn’t quite know how to react. ” Tiela Chalmers, Alameda County Bar Association CEO.


Collaboration. From Anywhere.

As a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) client on the Symbio platform since 2012, not only was ACBA’s data fully protected from malware, but they also had a business continuity plan built in.

We have been providing this traditionally enterprise-scale solution to small and mid-size businesses that normally couldn’t afford these technologies.

VDI enables remote work and ensure consistent access for anyone in the team, from anywhere. All the applications are cloud-based so you can use any device for connection, no additional set-up necessary.

In times like these, when collaboration across multiple locations is critical, VDI is a cost-efficient solution for small and medium corporations who need a remote-ready workforce.

Symbio’s team was quick to outline a plan that immediately gave me peace of mind. They clearly knew what to do.” Tiela Chalmers,


The ransomware cyberattack had been stopped in its tracks and no ransom was paid. There was minimum downtime and no data or productivity loss resulted from the attack.

“Everyone is at risk. Businesses need a comprehensive prevention plan in place, rather than wait for disaster to hit and then react. It is the only way to minimize the impact a cyberattack could have on your operations and on your credibility.” Julian Sutter, Symbio CTO.

“My first call was to DeepNet and within minutes they had a contingency plan. The support team tracked the attack source, cut it off before it could spread any further and then spent the next few hours transferring our backed-up data back to our servers”


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