Baltimore Ransomware Siege Enters Second Week of Bitcoin Extortion Attack
The city of Baltimore is being crippled by a ransomware attack with the culprits demanding bitcoin. | Source: Shutterstock
By CCN: Most of the Baltimore City’s government systems have been locked down since May 7th as a result of the “Robbinhood” ransomware attack.
The successful crypto locking has forced the city to go “manual” in most aspects of its daily business and has affected several areas of life. For example, people are unable to buy and sell real estate within the city right now because the records cannot be accessed or filed.
Baltimore Refuses to Negotiate with Hackers
Incoming mayor Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young, who replaces disgraced Catherine Pugh, insists the city will not pay the roughly 13 bitcoins demanded by the attackers. Some cities end up spending a lot more money by not paying the ransom, and in the case of Baltimore, a major metropolitan city with over 600,000 residents, the cost is amplified.
Everything from the city’s police systems to its online property tax portal is down.
Of course, governments operated long before computer systems. City departments are finding ways to work while the systems are down.
Fortunately, unlike the attack Baltimore suffered last year, the 911 and associated dispatching systems are still operational. Emergency services are of particular importance in Baltimore, whose opiate crisis is well-documented.
Speaking of which, a system the city developed to alert people to high-overdose areas is currently non-operational. Additionally, crime statistics and other public information aren’t being updated on the city’s open data website.