Lake City to Pay Nearly $500,000 to Hackers

Lake City to Pay Nearly $500,000 to Hackers

Hackers have found a sweet spot in encrypting and attacking municipal computer systems. Lake City is the latest to suffer from these attacks, and after two weeks of inaccessible services, have agreed to pay the $460,000 ransom to hackers.

Another Florida city has agreed to pay a ransom to regain control over their municipal computer systems. This is one of a few Florida cities to recently pay hackers a ransom to recover their information, as Rivera Beach just recently announced they would pay a $600,000 ransom to recover their encrypted files.

The mayor of Lake City told CBS 47 Action News Jax on Tuesday that the city would give the hackers $460,000 to hand back control of email and other servers seized on June 10. The attack knocked out the city’s email, and made it so the community could not pay their bills.

Ilia Kolochenko, the founder and CEO of ImmuniWeb said that this trend of encrypting computers and files, and only returning them for a ransom, is really a dangerous movement.

“This is a truly alarming trend that will likely spur targeted, well-planned attacks on cities and similarly defenseless victims. Until today, based on our experience, ransomware against such vulnerable classes of victims were either unsystematic or of relatively poor quality,” Kolochenko said. “However, with such lucrative and easy stakes on the table, cybercriminals will now willingly invest to prepare sophisticated, hardly-detectable and well-targeted campaigns. Worse, such cybercrimes are almost uninvestigable due to technical issues and payments in cryptocurrency.”

In the last 12 months, nearly half of organizations in the public sector say ransomware has impacted their business operations. In addition, 73% in the public sector have experienced two-to-five days of downtime as a result of the ransomware attack.

According to CBS 47 Action News Jax, all the city’s emergency services are in full operation, but it could take weeks or months until all services return to normal.

About the Author

Kaitlyn DeHaven is the Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.

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