Ransomware is a malicious software, which encrypts your whole disk and then asks for big amount of money to get your data back. Sometimes, ransomware may encrypt also the whole network, like another computers or devices like NAS. Something like this happened to Baltimore city, as we informed HERE. And now, another US city – The Riviera Beach City – is facing the same issue. City’s computer system was infected by opening a link in e-mail by employee. The Riviera Beach City Council believes, that the Palm Beach suburb had no choice if it wants to retrieve its records encrypted by hackers, so it decided to pay ransom. This is an example of how many damages can be done just by “little computer code”.
And that’s not all. The city had also problems with disabled e-mail system and 911 dispatchers were unable to enter calls into the computer. The city says there was no delay in response time. Also, vendors were payed by check, because computer system just did not work.
Spokeswoman Rose Anne Brown said Wednesday that the city of 35,000 residents has been working with outside security consultants, who recommended the ransom be paid. One of the reasons why city decided to do so is the fact, that the payment is being covered by insurance. But still, city will be forced to purchase new computers and hardware. The council already voted to spend some money, and it won’t be cheap – almost 1 000 000 USD! And there are still no guarantees, that hacker’s will really decrypt affected systems after receiving of the payment. As usual, hacker’s only accept payment via bitcoin.
In recent years, many governments and businesses were under attack of ransomware, both in USA and in the rest of the world. The U.S. government indicted two Iranians last year for allegedly unleashing more than 200 ransomware attacks, including against the cities of Atlanta and Newark, New Jersey. Reportedly these two men received over 6 000 000 USD and caused over 30 000 000 USD in damage. The federal government last year also accused a North Korean programmer of committing the “WannaCry” attack that infected government, bank, factory and hospital computers in 150 countries.
Ransomware attacks are present in the whole world. Here in Slovakia, only a few companies were infected by the dangerous ramsonware. One of them was the Nitra Faculty Hospital. It’s terrible, when unethical hackers attack institutions like hospitals or charity organisations.