FLORIDA PAYS $600,000

Riviera City officials also agreed to pay $941,000 to rebuild their computer network

A Florida city agreed to pay $600,000 in ransom to hackers who took over its computer system, the latest in thousands of attacks worldwide aimed at extorting money from governments and businesses.

The decision was taken after officials came to the conclusion that there was no other way to recover the city’s encrypted and locked files.

CITY WILL ALSO PAY $941,000 FOR NEW COMPUTERS

Access to Riviera City data has been locked since May 29 2019, this incident took place when a Riviera Beach police department employee opened an email and unleashed ransomware on the city’s network.

This ransomware locked files and shut down whole city services. Operations have been down ever since, with the exception of 911 services, which continue to operate, although limited.

The city’s website, email server, billing system, and everything else has been down ever since, with all city communications being done in person, over the telephone, or via posters.

The city has been having a hard time recovering from the incident ever since that ransomware email was opened.

On June 4, the city authorized spending more than $941,000 to buy new computer hardware. The purchases had been planned for next year but were moved up as a result of the attack, Ms. Brown said. About a third of the cost will be covered by insurance.

By the time the City Council met in a little-noticed special meeting on Monday night, its information technology staff had managed to restore the Riviera Beach website and create new email addresses for all employees. A three-line online notice dated June 5 informed the public that the city had “experienced a data security event.”

On Monday, Councilwoman KaShamba Miller-Anderson, the chairwoman of the board, asked Justin Williams, the interim information technology manager, for something seemingly simple. Could the elected officials’ new email addresses be posted online for the public to get in touch with them?

Underscoring the enormity of the city’s troubles, Mr. Williams explained that the webmaster hoped to get to that soon.

“He’s been working very feverishly to get that done,” Mr. Williams said.

65 BITCOIN RANSOM DEMAND PAID TO HACKERS

Initially, the city didn’t plan on paying criminals, but it became apparent in recent weeks that they wouldn’t be able to regain access to all their past data, which hadn’t been properly backed up.

On Monday this week, city officials met again, and with a unanimous vote of 5-0, they gave the go-ahead to the city’s insurer to pay 65 bitcoins ($603,000) to the ransomware gang holding their network for ransom.

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