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School District makes Payment of $10,000 Bitcoin to Hackers as Ransom Demanded


A possible hack, April 14, into the server of Massachusetts located Leominster Public Schools District resulted in compromise and shut down of the system. Leominster School superintendent Paula Deacon reported that the hackers locked the server following which they placed one ransom demand. The hackers also specified that the ransom payment had to be done within the widely accepted crypto-currency Bitcoin.


With investigation by cops taking place, the chief of police stated nobody told him about the kind of files from the school district the attackers locked down. Also, while no data was garnered, the attack just encrypted files to be decrypted against payment. The chief further reported that the attack shut down e-mail system of the school, so the school employees were forced to communicate amongst themselves via their Google mail accounts.


Deacon stated that after the cyber-attack, the school district complied with the bitcoin ransom payment. According to her, Leominster Schools District maintained a patient wait to have its system completely restored.


As per acting Police Chief of Leominster Michael Goldman, the crime seems wholly untraceable. He suspected the hackers as operating out of a foreign country, perhaps Europe. Consequently, police had little capability for resolving the issue. Goldman as well stated that his advice to Deacon was that she should pay up the money demanded. Bitcoinist.com posted this online dated April 29, 2018.


When Deacon asked police chief, Goldman to give his advice regarding the problem, he said that she should make the $10K ransom payment. Goldman informed that eventually as the school district made the ransom payment they received the passwords with which to restore access of a few data files.


Evidently, with updated anti-malware software, it's possible for averting ransomware attacks. Additionally, it's advisable that end-users conduct routine backups to websites which aren't directly connected with their PCs. Therefore, when a hack may occur, they can get back access to their computers by using such backups, instead of complying with the hackers' demand for ransoms. Yet, there is hardly any system which's wholly invulnerable to assault. According to Goldman, cyber extortionists are impossible to trace.

» SPAMfighter News - 5/4/2018

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