Lake City has become the second region in Florida to pay an enormous ransom to a ransomware gang that evaded the city’s computer network two weeks ago to introduce a catastrophic malware infection.
As per a report by ZDNet today, officials in Lake City on Monday held an emergency meeting and agreed to pay the 42 Bitcoins ($490,000) ransom demanded by the crooks, although the entire city has only 65,000 people living within.
The decision turned out to be the only way to rescue the city’s government from an attack that is described in a press release as a ‘triple threat.’ The report noted that the Lake City government work had been crippled since the malware infection.
Nature of the Crime
It was on June 10 that the Lake City government revealed that ransomware attackers had infected the region’s computer systems with malware.
Despite the Lake City I.T department rallying to disconnect impacted systems within ten minutes after the attack was noticed, the strain had infected nearly all the city’s computers. Only systems belonging to the police and fire departments remained unaffected because it ran on a separate network.
The people behind the crime sent a ransom demand one week later, which Lake City’s insurance provider, League of Cities negotiated to 42BTC. Following the agreement by both parties, the City made the payment estimated at $490,000 at the time of transfer to the ransomware attackers.
In turn, the city obtained a decryption key that would enable them to regain access to their data.
Meanwhile, as we noted earlier, Lake City is the second in Florida to pay an exorbitant ransom in BTC to ransomware attackers. Just last week, Riviera City officials agreed to pay 65 BTC worth roughly $600,000 for the same purpose.
In a counter development, we reported earlier today that Europol arrested six individuals who stole $27 million using a clone version of cryptocurrency exchange.