A second Florida city has opted to pay a ransom demand to hackers after they took control of the city's municipal computer systems.
On Tuesday, June 25, Lake City's Mayor announced that the city would pay hackers $460,000 to regain control of its email and other servers that were seized over two weeks ago.
The ransomware attack has left nearly all of the city's computer systems encrypted since the original attack on June 10. Fortunately, the city's police department and fire departments have not been impacted by this attack.
Just last week the Florida city of Riviera beach announced they agreed to pay hackers who encrypted its computer systems with ransomware $600,000 in order to regain access. These two cities are only the latest in an increasingly growing list of government municipalities that have been hit by a ransomware attack.
A study published by Mimecast recently found that 42% of organizations within the public sector have reported business downtime as a result of ransomware, with 73% reporting to have experienced two to five days of downtime as a result of an attack.
This trend of paying the ransom is seen to many security professionals as extremely dangerous. Paying out the ransom demand only makes ransomware attacks more lucrative, and ultimately incentivizes criminals to conduct even more targeted attacks with the expectation of getting paid out. Not to mention how uncommon it is for authorities to actually catch these criminals in their tracks.
Instead of rushing to fix the damage done by a ransomware attack, organizations need to have solutions in place to help detect the presence of malware and help mitigate the fallout of an attack. NNT has developed a custom Ransomware Remediation Kit designed to help organizations of all sizes defend against devastating ransomware attacks.
You can request a custom ransomware mitigation kit by clicking the link below.