Second US town pays up to ransomware hackers
For the second time in a week, a Florida city has paid a massive ransom to threat actors that infected the city’s systems with file-encrypting malware. While Riviera Beach recently paid $600,000 in ransom, Lake City got a slightly better deal this week. The city transferred $500,000 in bitcoin to the attackers in order to regain access to its data after being locked out for two weeks.
Upon detecting the ransomware attack, the city quickly shut down staff computers, but the malware had already spread across the network by then. Lake City is reassuring residents that most of the ransom will be covered by insurance. It was also the city’s insurer that negotiated the ransom with the hackers.
While many cybersecurity professionals believe that by paying up, Riviera Beach and Lake City are encouraging ransomware actors to continue targeting organizations, a growing number of risk and security analysts are urging organizations to include a scenario for paying ransom into their incident response plan.
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