Florida City Surrenders To $600,000 Bitcoin Ransomware Demand

Florida’s Riviera Beach city is ready pay attackers $600,000 in bitcoin with the expectations of having its systems reinstated. Attackers took over the networks several weeks back, when a police department worker unlocked a malicious mail that let them to infect the city’s system with virus. Now the council has decided to pay the money in the expectations of getting encrypted records of Riviera Beach back—although there is no actual assurance the attackers will reinstate them.

Besides locking down the data, the hack took down the email system of the city, forced the city to pay contractors and employees by check rather than direct deposit, and did this so that 911 dispatchers could not receive calls on their networks. The city claims there was no delay in answer time in spite of the tech barrier.

Security advisors advised the city to pay up, as per the media, in spite of the danger the attackers will not reinstate the files and systems. The insurance provider of the city will cover the payment. Riviera Beach also decided previously this month to invest $941,000 to restore its PCs and other devices after the attackers took over in May 2019.

While Riviera Beach is not the only city to have met ransom demands by hackers, others have declined to pay up. Particularly, Baltimore voted not to fork more than $76,000 in bitcoin when attackers previous month hindered city systems. That is in spite of the attack eventually costing the city $18 Million.

On a related note, fresh off coping with chaos led earlier by ransomware attack, Baltimore has a new issue to address. The issue is the $18 Million in damages that arrived with the attack. In May 2019, the government computer systems of the city were affected with aggressive ransomware dubbed as RobbinHood that encrypted hard drive files to stop access.

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