Boots & Sabers

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2208, 26 Jun 19

Cities Pay Ransom to Hackers


A town in Florida has paid $500,000 (£394,000) to hackers after a ransomware attack.

The total paid by Florida municipalities over ransomware in the last two weeks now stands at $1.1m.

Officials in Lake City voted to pay hackers in Bitcoin after suffering downed computer systems for two weeks.

Coastal suburb Riviera Beach recently paid hackers $600,000 following a similar incident that locked municipal staff out of important files.

According to reports, IT staff in Lake City disconnected staff computers within minutes of the attack starting, but it was too late.

Workers were locked out of email accounts and members of the public were left unable to make municipal payments online.


2208, 26 June 2019


  1. Jason

    Hundreds and thousands of bad guys just got encouraged to work on malware. Ouch indeed.

  2. jonnyv

    When you don’t have proper security measures this is what you run into. They gambled and lost. Would proper IT security measures have costed more or less than 500K?

  3. Jason

    Is this similar to how Milwaukee citizens are going to have to start paying for The Hop?

  4. jjf

    Jonnyv, you think some IT person didn’t try making that argument in a meeting?

    You think this hasn’t happened to private business?  You just don’t get to hear about it when it does.

  5. Mar

    Since I am not a computer geek, you would think there would be back up systems. I had this happen to me a few years ago and an actual computer geek solved the problem for me. What has changed since then?
    And couldn’t they come up with a parallel system so the government didn’t basically shut down?

  6. Jason

    The problem is this malware spreads throughout a flat network, and encrypts everything.  And usually that includes all backups, since many, many, many places have their backup infrastructure on the same network as people receiving emails and browsing the internet.

  7. jjf

    No, Jason, IT people have the 3-2-1 rule for backups.  Three copies, two different storage formats, one off-site.  And not on systems that are connected by network filesystems.  So off-line backups.  Tapes or systems that aren’t just another drive on the network.  And yes, unless you test backups with a restore, you only think you have backups.  And yes, unless you actually perform disaster recovery tests, you don’t have a way to recover.

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