Florida city pays $600,000 to hackers who seized its computer system

A Florida city agreed to pay $600,000 in ransom to hackers who took over its computer system, the newest in hundreds of assaults worldwide geared toward extorting cash from governments and companies.

The Riviera Beach City Council voted unanimously this week to pay the hackers’ calls for, believing the Palm Beach suburb had no selection if it wished to retrieve its data, which the hackers encrypted. The council already voted to spend virtually $1 million on new computer systems and {hardware} after hackers captured the city’s system three weeks in the past.

The hackers apparently bought into the city’s system when an worker clicked on an electronic mail hyperlink that allowed them to add malware. The city had quite a few issues, together with shedding its electronic mail system and 911 dispatchers not having the ability to enter calls into the computer.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, ransomware is the quickest rising malware risk, focusing on each people and organizations. In 2018, the large “SamSam” virus disrupted the flight info system, baggage shows and electronic mail at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, whereas one other assault crippled computer systems on the Port of San Diego. 

City governments in Atlanta, Newark, N.J., and Sarasota, Fla., even have been hit by ransomware schemes. And hackers have taken the knowledge programs of dozens of U.S. hospitals hostage.

“Ransomware is usually delivered by means of phishing emails or by way of ‘drive-by downloads,'” according to Homeland Security. “Phishing emails typically seem as if they’ve been despatched from a legit group or somebody recognized to the sufferer and entice the consumer to click on on a malicious hyperlink or open a malicious attachment.”

The FBI, Homeland Security and U.S. Secret Service are investigating the Florida assault, in accordance to The Palm Beach Post.

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