Florida cities pay out $1mn in bitcoin to ransomware hackers

A Florida metropolis has paid virtually $500,000 to hackers after a ransomware assault, marking the second such payout in lower than two weeks and bringing the full latest bitcoin cost by cities in the state to over $1 million.

Officials in Lake City agreed to pay the hackers to regain management of their pc methods, which had been down for 2 weeks, after speaking with the FBI and the metropolis’s insurance coverage firm. 

The cyber-attack was comparable to one on the Palm Beach suburb of Riviera Beach, which paid hackers $600,000 to launch their methods. The Lake City incident reportedly began with a City Hall worker opening an e-mail hyperlink.

IT employees disconnected employees computer systems inside minutes of the launch nevertheless it was already too late. Workers have been unable to entry vital recordsdata or e-mail accounts, and members of the general public have been unable to make metropolis funds on-line. 

The city’s insurer was contacted by the hackers, and ultimately agreed to paying 42 bitcoins ($460,000). While insurance coverage will cowl the bulk of the cost, tax payers will decide up about $10,000 of the tab.

“I would have never dreamed this could have happened, especially in a small town like this,” Mayor Stephen Witt informed native media.