Security Experts:

Ransomware Attack Locks Out New Bedford City Data

A Massachusetts mayor says hackers demanded $5.3 million from his city in a ransomware attack this summer.

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell disclosed Wednesday that a variant of the Ryuk virus blocked access to information on 158 city computers in July. The Standard-Times reports the city had previously blamed an unspecified virus.

The attacker demanded a Bitcoin payment equal to $5.3 million.

Mitchell says the city wasn’t interested in negotiating at first, but eventually offered $400,000 from insurance proceeds.

The hacker rejected the offer and made no counter demand. The city then decided to recover the data on its own.

The city is not aware of any theft of residents’ personal data, but Mitchell says they cannot rule it out since several servers were encrypted and could not be examined.

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