A School Pays $10,000 as Ransomware
The Leominster Public Schools District in Massachusetts was in the news for a very strange reason. Suspected hackers took control of their computers and shutting it down. As indicated by Paula Deacon, the director of the school locale, a lock was placed on the computer system and a ransom was demanded. Meanwhile, the cyber hijackers stipulated that the ransom should be paid in Bitcoin, the popular cryptocurrency.
The school negotiated with the hackers and it was and a payment was agreed upon, and the hackers did a demo by decrypting few of the documents as proof. Commenting on the issue, Dean Mazzarella, the mayor of Leominster, said that the perpetrators were “smart.” He also said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was tracking the matter. According to the mayor, the $10,000 ransom payment will be taken from the city’s general fund. Mazzarella also added:
They were on top of their game. They are using the best and highest technology. They were just looking for an opening and the system was hacked somehow or another.
Leominster Police Chief, Michael Goldman, said that the crime is impossible to track. He declared his suspicions that the hackers were from overseas, probably in Europe. As a result, there is precious little that the police department can do. Goldman also said that he advised Deacon to pay the ransom.
Goldman also stressed that the ransomware attack did not represent a theft of any data. The school district’s files were locked down, as well as the school’s email system, but no data were actually mined.
The growing Cryptocurrency demand for Ransomware
This attack is the latest in a slew of cryptocurrency-related cyber-attacks that are becoming more rampant. In January 2018, Hancock Health in Indiana was hit with a ransomware attack. The hospital was forced to pay $55,000 worth of Bitcoin to the hackers. Perhaps the most popular Bitcoin ransomware is the WannaCry ransomware variant. It caused major disruptions across the globe in 2017 by attacking computer systems and demanding Bitcoin as ransom. Victims of the attack included the U.K. NHS and tech companies in Spain, Taiwan, Ukraine, and Russia.
This is the most recent in a large number of digital currency-related digital attack that is winding up more wild. In January 2018, Hancock Health in Indiana was hit with a ransomware attack. The doctor’s facility was compelled to pay $55,000 worth of Bitcoin to the hackers. Maybe the most famous Bitcoin ransomware is the WannaCry ransomware variation. It caused real interruptions over the globe in 2017 by attacking computers and requesting Bitcoin as payment. Casualties of the attack incorporated the U.K. NHS and tech organizations in Spain, Taiwan, Ukraine, and Russia.
Having updated malware protection can prevent the system from attack. What’s more, clients are additionally encouraged to perform general reinforcements to sites that are not specifically connected to their frameworks. In case of a hack, clients can reestablish their frameworks from the reinforcements as opposed to paying the payoff. All things considered, no framework is totally safe to assault.
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Kevin Jones, Ph.D., is a research associate and a Cyber Security Author with experience in Penetration Testing, Vulnerability Assessments, Monitoring solutions, Surveillance and Offensive technologies etc. Currently, he is a freelance writer on latest security news and other happenings. He has authored numerous articles and exploits which can be found on popular sites like hackercombat.com and others.