An American municipality in Florida has paid 65 bitcoins to recover hostage computer systems after a ransomware attack. That currently amounts to around $ 602,342 at the time of writing. The city of Riviera Beach was hit by the ransomware three weeks ago.
The police department of Riviera Beach was hit at the end of May by ransomware, which was sent in an email with an infected document. Since then, the city has been working completely offline, reports among others The New York Times.
The city council has now opted to pay 65 bitcoins in ransom. With the current rate that is around $ 602,342. In addition to the ransom amount, the city council also agreed to purchase new hardware last week, which was already planned earlier. The city buys 310 new desktops, 90 laptops, and a number of new servers and other systems for a total of 941,000 dollars. Around one third of the amount is reimbursed by the city insurance.
Cities and government institutions are increasingly becoming victims of ransomware. They are often easier to infect and the victims are more willing to pay higher amounts. Earlier this year, the large American city of Baltimore was also hit by ransomware. In that case, the directors chose not to pay. Replacing all computer systems there already costs more than seventeen million dollars.