North Carolina County Refuses to Pay $23000 Ransom to Hackers

07 Décembre, 2017, 03:41 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio talked to reporters Wednesday about this week's hacker attack on county servers

"We've been told by [the hackers] we need to pay two bitcoin, or $23,000 for them to give us the de-encryption to have the servers released and the files returned to us", says Diorio.

"It will take time, but with patience and hard work, all of our systems will be back up and running as soon as possible", Diorio added.

Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Anjanette Flowers Grube said in an email that deputies are manually processing suspects who have been arrested because its computer system was affected.

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

It is still not clear whether the county will pay the ransom.

The Department of Social Services is asking customers to confirm transportation scheduling.

Anyone who made transportation reservations through DSS/MTS, including reservations made for bus passes and vendor transportation for trips scheduled through December 11, is asked to call Customer Connections to confirm transportation.

During a press conference Wednesday, Diorio reiterated that no personal information of county workers or customers was compromised by the hackers, which has affected 48 of 500 servers.

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Builders are among those who felt the hack's full effects on Wednesday.

Third-party experts retained by the county believe the ransomware is "a new strain" known as "LockCrypt", and "very little is known about it", the county manager said. She said the county acted quickly to shut down services to prevent the spread of the virus after it was discovered.

The shutdown is affecting email, printing and other county applications, including the ability to conduct business at most county offices. County officials said this afternoon the county will not pay a $23,000 ransom in the electronic currency Bitcoins demanded by the attackers. Rod Spence with Banister Homes was at the Code Enforcement office off Wilkinson Boulevard, where he said there's "a lot of confusion".

The county is composing a list of all services that it won't be able to be offered because of the hack.

The Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners received an update on the outage during its meeting on Tuesday night.

"We don't believe we were targeted", Diorio said. Of course, as Diorio mentioned above, paying off a hacker could embolden them to attack you again.

Charlotte CIO Jeff Stovall said the city is always vigilant but has increased its monitoring of "any activities that are happening on our networks and on our devices", and sent out reminders to staff of the proper handling procedures for emails and attachments. "So that's the conversation that we are continuing to have".

No other details have been released.

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