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Officials decide to not pay $23000 ransom to hackers

08 Декабря, 2017, 01:37 | Author: Samuel Sharp
  • Hacker Attacks Mecklenburg County In North Carolina, Disrupt Services, Demands Ransom

Wednesday evening, officials say the county will not pay a hacker ransom to unlock their data on county servers that's been frozen by the malicious software.

Diorio said county technology officials will use backup data from before the ransomware attack to restore the system, but the rebuild will take "patience and hard work".

At this point, officials don't believe any information has been stolen, but malware was discovered on about 30 servers.

Diorio said the hacker is asking for two bitcoins, which amounts to about $23,000 dollars, by 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Hackers are holding county office servers for ransom in the most populous county in North Carolina.

WBTV has learned the hackers are demanding substantially more money than first reported, according to sources.

"If you pay the bitcoin, there is always a risk they won't give you the encryption key", she told reporters.

"Our priorities are going to be systems that affect health and human services, like the Department of Social Services, Health Services, Child Support Services", Diehl said.

During Wednesday's press conference, Diorio denied reports that the ransom was more than the original $23,000 that was initially reported. Customer Connections can be reached at 704-336-4547. Because of a backup system, the hack didn't compromise any personal information or delete any data.

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As of Wednesday morning, the hacker's identity and location were unknown.

Kinston's tech experts say it's a little unusual that it's taking Mecklenburg County this long to get all its servers restored. In the meantime, county officials have been forced to revert to paper systems.

Mecklenburg County says this will affect the ability to conduct business at most county offices and say there is now no estimated time for the system to be back on line.

"It's concerning when this happens to government, it's concerning to an individual when this happens to themselves", County Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour said Tuesday night.

Departments affected by the outage are implementing contingency plans.

Diorio is now working with a "third party forensic expert" to navigate the county's next steps.

There's no evidence Mecklenburg County was specifically targeted, county Public Information Director Danny Diehl said - but for obvious reasons, the decision of whether or not to pay the hackers was a complicated one. "And there was no guarantee that paying the criminals was a sure fix", Dioro says.

"We're continuing to try and manage as best we can".

No other details have been released.

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