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Lake City paid ransom demand of 42 bitcoins


The Lake City paid ransom demand of 42 bitcoins that is worth roughly $480,000 in order to recover their encrypted systems. The cyberattack, which happened on May 10 of this year, crippled many systems like telephones and emails. In fact, several customer-serving departments were being forced to function manually. Only departments that are not affected in this attack were of fire and police, as those departments operate on another server.


Initially, the Lake City was working with their IT staff along with another third-party vendor in order to recover lost systems. However, in spite of all these efforts, there have been still many systems which were determined to be unrecoverable.


"It would be to try to either to retrieve it through unlocking the information or recovering it some other way and neither of those options is very good or very easy and not very cost effective," as per Mayor Stephen Witt, reported WCJB.


About one week after the cyberattacks happened, the Lake City had received one ransom request from attackers. The detail about the ransom request has been submitted to the insurance provider of Lake City. Michael Lee, spokesperson of City Police department, said that "about a week later after the attack occurred we did actually receive a ransom request. They were specifically requesting 42 bitcoins, which were the payment that they were requiring to release the decryption key to us".


After considering the positives as well as negatives, the insurance provider of Lake City paid roughly $480,000 that is equal to 42 bitcoins on Jun. 25, 2019. Soon thereafter, the attackers had provided decryption key in order to retrieve Lake City's files as well as data.


As reported by First Coast News, Joe Helfenberger, Manager of Lake City, said that "based on the advice of the vendors the purchase provided a mechanism to the City to retrieve the City's files and data, which had been encrypted, and hopefully return the City's IT system to being fully operational. If this process works it would save the City substantially in both time and money".


Weeks after the insurer of Lake City paid the ransom demand, the email as well as the phones are once again started working, however still the Lake City has not recovered all its files.


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