Florida City Paid $426,000 To Hacker for Getting Their System Back

A second Florida city paid thousands of dollars to ransomware attackers who hacked their computer systems — the latest in a growing pattern that forces local governments offline.

Officers from Lake City agreed Tuesday to pay 42 bitcoin, roughly $426,000, to hackers who seized the city’s laptop methods June 10, ending a 15-day standoff.

It is the second metropolis in Florida to fall prey to ransomware attackers this summer: On June 19, Riviera Seaside officers voted to pay their requested ransom of 65 bitcoin, near $600,000, to hackers who disabled town’s online services in late May.

Lake City police stated the city paid a $10,000 deductible to its insurance firm, which will cover the rest of the ransom.

In an announcement, the city called the attack a “triple threat,” a ransomware program that attacked town’s network three other ways and took out email systems, landline phones, and online credit card cost.

Ransomware attacks have spiked since 2016, hijacking the computer programs of government entities like cities, police departments, and schools. It is a distinctive kind of cyberattack: Hackers encrypt all files on the programs and demand fee, normally in bitcoin, to revive them.

Forward of assaults on Lake Metropolis and Riviera Seashore, there have been at the very least 22 reported breaches of public sector networks in 2019, CNN reported in May.

Populous cities like Baltimore, Albany, and Atlanta, have all combated ransomware assaults that pressured them to carry out municipal companies manually.

Complete recovery of a city’s programs can take up to several weeks and cost cities thousands more than the agreed ransom — a combined cyberattack on Atlanta and Newark cost greater than $30 million in damages.

Lake City officers didn’t return multiple requests for comment.