Florida cities pay out $1mn in bitcoin to ransomware hackers

A laptop displays a message after being infected by ransomware as part of a worldwide cyberattack

A laptop displays a message after being infected by ransomware as part of a worldwide cyberattack

A Florida city has paid nearly $500,000 to hackers after a ransomware attack, marking the second such payout in less than two weeks and bringing the total recent bitcoin payment by cities in the state to over $1 million.

Lake City isn't the first local government to pay out hundreds of thousands of dollars to hackers over ransomware, and it's not likely to be the last.

Officials in Lake City paid the hackers after their computer systems were down for two weeks.

On Monday, in an emergency meeting of the city council, the administration of Lake City, a small Florida city with a population of 65,000, voted to pay a ransom demand of 42 bitcoins, worth almost $500,000.

Trump says his talk with Putin 'none of your business'
The U.S. has threatened sanctions on Ankara if it proceeds with the planned purchase of a Russian anti-aircraft missile system. Particularly, Trump will meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping at 11:30 a.m. local time on Saturday.

As a result of the attack, employees lost access to email accounts and citizens were unable to make municipal payments online.

The cyber-attack was similar to one on the Palm Beach suburb of Riviera Beach, which paid hackers $600,000 to release their systems. Police and fire services were not affected, officials said.

"The biggest concern for the public at this moment is the lack of email communication, and we hope to have alternate email contacts available shortly", city manager Joe Helfenberger said in a statement.

Witt told Action News Jax that it was a hard decision to accept the hackers' demands, but noted the city's "insurance will cover all of it except $10,000", which he said taxpayers would have to stump up in the form of higher insurance rates down the road. The council already voted to spend nearly $1 million in spending on new computers and hardware after hackers captured the city's system in May.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.