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Ontario’s Stratford City paid bitcoin worth more than $75,000 following cyber attack


Authorities in Stratford city of Ontario, Canada, in recent times paid a hacker bitcoin worth more than $75,000. City of Stratford has agreed to pay the attacker ransom amount in exchange for the decryption keys, so as to unlock their information systems following the April cyber attack.


As per the CTV News, the attacker has started infiltrating as well as infecting city's data on Apr. 14, 2019. The hacker has allegedly encrypted systems as well as servers of the Stratford city, leaving malware in the database. Soon after discovering this, Stratford city immediately disconnected the users from Internet so as to stop the malware infection from increasing.


In total, the CTV News reported that six physical servers are being destroyed, whereas two virtual databases were affected as well.


To restore the data as well as systems in order, the Stratford city has negotiated with the attacker/hacker. As per an information update on website of Stratford, the city has paid the hacker 10 Bitcoin, which was valued then at $7,509.13 each. Thus, the total ransom amount that was paid to the hacker amounted for more than $75,000.


Bitcoin is a digital currency type, which can be sent through electronic means. This digital currency doesn't require any personal information disclosure, thus making it effective for ransom payments, said The Beacon Herald.


While the government has paid the ransom amount to the attacker, the city has also submitted the cyber insurance claim for this ransomware attack. The Stratford city will bear and pay $15,000 itself, out of the whole ransom amount that was paid.


The government was able to attain access of their accounts and returned to the normal business operations only from Apr. 29, 2019 (i.e. two weeks after this incident).


An investigation by consulting company Deloitte has found that personal information was not lost or disclosed due to this attack.


The Stratford city continues to conduct the ongoing investigations surrounding this matter. Police officers as well as the OPP Cyber Crime Unit were conducting the research as well as investigations on this cyber attack. Additionally, the city claims that they have enhanced their security measures, in order to prevent similar kind of cyber attacks from taking place.


» SPAMfighter News - 10/3/2019

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