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Auburn Food Bank become victim of a ransomware attack


Auburn Food Bank of King County, Washington, become victim of a ransomware strain called GlobeImposter 2.0, which has encrypted all the computers on Auburn Food Bank's network. Only one computer remains safe from this attack, which is now currently being used for maintaining the charity activities.


Auburn Food Bank, a non-profit entity, provides free food to the individuals as well as families inside the boundaries of Auburn School District. It is still not clear how these hackers were successful to get into Auburn Food Bank's network, but the servers of Auburn Food Bank have been attacked by ransomware around 2:00 AM on June 5, 2019, when no one was there in the office.


All the computers of the food bank were seized by a computer virus as a result of the attack, therefore making the files and emails inaccessible. The attackers then demanded a ransom amount in order to release the encrypted computers back to Auburn Food Bank.


As one cannot guarantee about the release of the encrypted computers even after paying the ransom amount, so Debbie Christian (the Director of Auburn Food Bank) has opted not to pay the ransom amount. She even did not waste time to find out how much is the ransom amount demanded. So, currently the food bank is left with only one computer that is acting as the server.


The present-day estimates for replacing this impacted equipment have been $8000. Auburn Food Bank said that they need help for paying this amount, as they are a charitable organization having limited funds. Christian said that "not to pay the ransom, but to pay for the expense of recreating our computer system. We don't have this kind of money budgeted and we are at the end of our fiscal year and heading into summer when money is already tighter".


So for rebuilding the computer network of Auburn Food Bank, one can help by giving one-time donation or can also help the Food Bank by giving donation in parts (i.e. monthly or quarterly or even annually). The people, who cannot help monetarily but wanted to help the food bank, can also volunteer their skills and time. Christian said that "if a person can type, we have tons of forms that need to be recreated, [in both] Word and Excel. Jobs can be done at home and saved to a thumb drive and returned to us".


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