The city of Florence will pay $300,000 ransom in bitcoins in response to its computer system being hit with a cyber attack.
There is a tremendous increase in the number of cyberattacks while comparing with the same period last year. The average ransom payment has nearly doubled over the years. Even with countries having most advanced security technologies are also being attacked.
In late May, several officials in Florence, Alabama were alerted that their information technology systems were hacked by the hackers who specialize in deploying ransomware.
The mayor says the hackers may have had access to the city’s computer system for more than a month.
The Florence City Council voted unanimously at an emergency meeting to pay the ransom from the city’s insurance fund, in order to preserve information tied to its city workers and customers.
“On May 26, acting on a tip from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.- based cybersecurity firm Hold Security, KrebsOnSecurity contacted the office of Florence’s mayor to alert them that a Windows 10 system in their IT environment had been commandeered by a ransomware gang,” reads the post published by KrebsOnSecurity.
“We’re having to approach it from the standpoint that we’re going to have to assume- we know they have some of our information, we don’t know that they have critical information, frankly don’t think they do but we don’t know,” Mayor Holt said.
Mayor Holt confirmed that the city is being deceived by a ransomware gang called DoppelPaymer.
DoppelPaymer has a reputation for never releasing any information once the ransom is paid.
The city will seek proof from the hacker that they will delete the stolen information.
“Ransom has been a problem for some time, and I won’t stop worrying until
I retire,” said Decatur Information Technology Director Brad Philips.