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American town surrendered to hackers, paid a ransom of half a million dollars in Bitcoin

American town surrendered to hackers, paid a ransom of half a million dollars in Bitcoin

. 2 min read

A small town in Florida (USA) accepted to pay the US $ 500,000 to hackers in bitcoin after being attacked by ransomware.

According to The Next Web, officials in Lake City have “surrendered” and paid ransom for hackers after the local government’s computer system was paralyzed for two weeks.

A few minutes after the attack began, the technical staff of the Lake City government disconnected the computer system’s network. But it was too late.

The hackers gained access to e-mail from town government staff. People were unable to perform many types of online transactions.

Hackers often demand ransom with Bitcoin. Photo: Shutterstock.
Hackers often demand ransom in Bitcoin. Photo: Shutterstock.

Hackers contacted the town’s insurance company and asked to pay a $ 500,000 ransom in Bitcoin coins. Local officials said paying was the best way to regain access to the computer system.

“I didn’t expect this to happen, especially in such a small town,” Lake City mayor Stephen Witt told local media. Insurance companies paid most of the money to hackers, but the government is also responsible for paying $ 10,000.

Lake City was the second US city to “fall” against a hacker attack in the past few months. Not long ago, Riviera Beach – another Florida state – paid for a cybercrime $ 600,000 in Bitcoin after they captured the government’s computer system.

According to Coveware, in the first 3 months of 2019, the “revenue” of network attackers ransomed 90% over the previous quarter. In average, they earn $ 12,762 a day from the victims, while the last three months of 2018 are $ 6,733.

However, not everyone pays for ransomware attacks. In early May, hackers paralyzed Baltimore City’s computer system. At that time, the mayor firmly refused to pay a ransom of $ 76,000 in Bitcoin. Estimated, the attack has caused damage to 18 million USD.