2 min Devices

U.S. city pays $600,000 to ransomware group

U.S. city pays $600,000 to ransomware group

The city council of Riviera Beach, a city in the American state of Florida, has decided to pay a ransomware group $600,000. In this way, the city council hopes to recover data that was encrypted in an attack three weeks ago.

On 29 May, an employee of the police in Riviera Beach opened an e-mail, which unleashed ransomware on the city’s network, writes ZDNet. The malware encrypted all the city’s services and turned them off. Since then, all operations have been halted, with the exception of the emergency services. These services managed to remain active, although they are limited. However, the e-mail server, the website and all other services have been offline since 29 May. All communication is now by phone, posters or must be done in person.

On June 3, the city council met and it was decided to spend $941,000 on 310 new desktops, laptops and other hardware. In this way, the city should be able to rebuild its IT infrastructure. There were no plans to pay the criminals, but officials soon discovered that they could no longer access all the data from the past. It turned out that there was no good backup of the files.

Last Monday, the city council met again and it was unanimously decided to pay 65 bitcoins – about 532,000 euros – to the criminals who are holding their network hostage. The vote on this decision lasted only two minutes.

Other payments

Riviera Beach is an area north of Palm Beach in Florida. Another part of Palm Beach – Palm Springs – also paid a group of cyber criminals for ransomware last year. However, the city lost two more years of data. Officials in Jackson County, Georgia, agreed to a ransomware requirement in March. The hackers then received $400,000 in exchange for access to the files.

The highest amount ever paid in a ransomware attack comes from South Korean web hosting company Nayana. That company paid no less than 1.3 billion euro in bitcoins in June 2017.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.