Riviera Beach, a resort city in Florida, has agreed to pay a ransom of 65 Bitcoins to the tune of $600,000 to hackers, to get back the city’s data which was stolen and encrypted by cyber-criminals. The ransom will be paid by the insurance carrier of the city, and the decision was made by unanimous council voting.
A statement reported by CoinSpice said,
“City leaders say paying the ransom, which equates to about $600,000, will hopefully return the computer system to be fully operational. In May, the city reported what it called a system-wide cyber intrusion that took down the computer system, saying ‘someone clicked on an email.”
The statement however, is paradoxical to the fact that the city has a history of investing close to $1 million for upgrading their computer systems.
One of the reasons cited for the hack can be attributed to the lack of security literacy, something that may be the direct cause for employees to become a victim of email, fraud-related attacks, ultimately leading to the ransomware spreading across the city’s digital infrastructure. The malware had an overall adverse effect on the city’s emails and personal data, as well as the city’s 911 emergency calls.
In the past, the city of Baltimore has also faced a similar cyber-attack, wherein the hackers hacked into several systems in the city and demanded a ransom of $100,000 payable in BTC. This ransom amount was later increased to $18 million after initial negotiation attempts with the hackers failed.