Another city in Florida pays ransom in bitcoins after ransomware attack
Authorities in the city of Lake City, Florida, yesterday paid 42 bitcoins to a hacker to recover from a ransomware attack. It is the second city in Florida whose systems have been hijacked in exchange for BTC in just one month.
The communication systems of the city were hacked on June 11. A cyber security firm and staff specialized in information technology tried to regain access on their own. However, part of the files were determined as irrecoverable, the authorities declared.
The representatives of Lake City accepted the rescue request of the cybernetic pirate sent last week. After several conversations, they negotiated a total payment of 42 BTC, valued for today at more than 500 thousand dollars.
Joe Helfenberger, the city’s director, confirmed that the payment of the ransom was much cheaper than recovering the system from scratch. City insurance will cover most of the attack, with only $ 10,000 being the deductible amount of your policy.
After 15 days of the ransomware attack, the hacker provided the authorities with a mechanism to recover the files. The city’s system is currently operational, although the authorities expect a full recovery.
Lake City is the second city in the state of Florida to suffer a ransomware attack so far this month. The Riviera Beach City Council paid 65 BTC a week ago to recover their email and emergency call system.
Ransomware is a malicious attack in which a hacker hijacks access to a system to request a ransom in cryptocurrencies, commonly bitcoins. This type of attacks has become very popular since 2017, marking a milestone with the WannaCry virus that generated multi-million dollar losses in Europe.
Cities and hospitals have become the easy target for hackers to carry out these attacks, since the information their systems possess is vital. In this way, cities in Canada, hospitals in Brazil and even the Inter-American Press Association have suffered the onslaught of this form of cyber-kidnapping.
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