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Georgia County victim of ransomware, pays ransom of USD400K

Jackson County, Georgia's computers were recently hit with a ransomware assault causing a drastic slowdown of government activity till the officials forcibly felt the need for paying the cyber-criminals USD400K to get a key for decrypting the encrypted files. As a result of the infection, the majority of IT machines with the government in the locality became offline other than the 911 emergency device and website of the government.

Officials from Jackson County informed FBI while also engaged one cyber-security advisor. The advisor conducted negotiations with the hacker, while previously during current week, local government of Georgia County made a USD400,000 payment to the cyber-criminals for the decryption key with which access to the infected files was restored.

The incident forced the County offices for going back to paper and pen for doing their job and completing the tasks. According to Janis Mangum Sheriff of Jackson County to StateScoop, reports and arrests were being done as per tradition the time without computers. The ransomware perpetrators typically demanded the payment be made with Bitcoins so that possibilities of tracking the hackers were minimized.

Kevin Poe Manager of Jackson County said that County officials were carrying on the decryption process of the impacted PCs and servers. He explained that the need to make the payment was almost necessary for; the systems could've really been inoperable for months together while spending money could be same or more in getting the County system rebuilt. www.zdnet.com posted this, March 9, 2019.

As investigation is ongoing by FBI, Poe tells the ransomware used was quite one fresh strain known as Ryuk whose operator was certain band in Eastern Europe. The band had taken code from Hermes the name of another ransomware which has connection with Lazarus the hacker group of North Korea. Utilization of Ryuk is characteristically within targeted assaults carried out via phishing, possibly also similarly utilized during Jackson County attack.

A number of newspaper publications from Los Angeles Times and Tribune Publishing in USA were as well the latest to get victimized with the ransomware that severely disturbed their printing as well as delivery.

» SPAMfighter News - 3/12/2019

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