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Baltimore city reeling under ransomware attack


An ongoing ransomware attack against Baltimore City has still not been fully successful as city officials are determined against paying the hackers who targeted the servers belonging to the government with the malware.


About 10,000 government PCs had come under the hackers' hold, May 7. The attackers have held the authorities under threat of erasing everything on Baltimore's servers if they didn't pay 13 BTC (USD103,749.49). According to the officials, the ransomware assault contaminated the city PCs, compelling Baltimore to shutdown systems and online services for taking control over the damage.


According to The Baltimore Sun, the digital ransom notification stated that all seized files could be restored if the city paid a price: 13 BTC for all the locked systems alternatively 3 BTC (almost USD 24,000) for each locked system. It further indicated that the attackers were only interested in the money and nothing else. Baltimore hasn't revealed anything regarding the hack except that FBI was investigating the incident. www.nytimes.com posted this, May 22, 2019.


Name of malicious software used in the attack is RobbinHood, according to the ransom notification. The hack that impacted PCs whose users were approximately 7,000 people; brought down online sites through which the city inhabitants would pay parking tickets and water bills while also submit applications. It also knocked out government e-mail A/Cs. Sale of real estate properties too came to a halt, however, Baltimore managed resuming them shortly making mandatory transaction payments in person. As per the Office of Mayor, Baltimore managed processing 42 deeds submitted on a single day at start of manual functioning.


Mayor Bernard C Jack Young said that the city was well into the procedure of restoration for which leading cyber-security specialists were working nonstop. www.theguardian.com posted this, May 22, 2019.


It is presumed the infection became possible due to vulnerable PCs which didn't have proper security updates.


Baltimore has had another experience of ransomware attack which temporarily disrupted the city's "911" emergency system in 2018. In April last, the RobbinHood malware hit North Carolina's Greenville City when there was a similar demand of 13 BTC. Greenville too dismissed paying the hackers.


» SPAMfighter News - 5/29/2019

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