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Hackers Hold Local Government Computers for Ransom and Demand Two Bitcoin

06 December 2017, 09:06 | Melvin Schneider

Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio talked to reporters Wednesday about this week's hacker attack on county servers. David Boraks WFAE

Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio talked to reporters Wednesday about this week's hacker attack on county servers

One of the growing problems for businesses and governments today is having their electronic files hacked and held for ransom. "Criminals have hit all types of organizations, public and private, including K-12 districts".

Many Mecklenburg County functions have come to a halt after a ransomware attack encrypted files on at least 30 county servers.

In a report from WSFA, Montgomery County officials said the backup servers were more than 90 percent full and they planned to wait until the next budget passed to upgrade the servers. So called "cyberthieves' struck three dozen school districts from California to Georgia this year, stealing paychecks and data, it reported".

Mecklenburg County officials said that a hacker that was ransoming data on its servers gave a 1 p.m. Wednesday deadline to pay more than $23,000 to get the data back.

"There's a risk you don't get the decryption key and don't get your files back", Diorio said. Last month, computer hackers targeted the Sacramento Regional Transit system, resulting in 30 million files being deleted.

A couple county commissioners declined to talk about the attack, saying they don't fully understand the ins-and-outs of it. Commission Chair Ella Scarborough says she doesn't want the county to pay the ransom.

North Carolina's largest city says its computer system hasn't been affected by a hacking attack on the surrounding county.

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The computer systems of the Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, were taken offline by a hacker. It stopped all book borrowing and cut off internet access to those who rely on it for computers.

Paying the hacker comes with risks. Instead, it wiped the entire computer system and reset it, which almost two weeks, CNN reported.

County Manager Dena Diorio said that the hackers got into the county's system when an employee clicked on an email attachment they shouldn't have. The computer infection is called "ransomware".

"... [A] ll County-wide Information Technology Services (ITS) systems will be shut down until further notice".

The county government of Mecklenburg, North Carolina, has been hacked, leaving their server files being held for a ransom of 2 bitcoins.

"Local governments and businesses do find themselves in a quandary when targeted by hackers", according to the site.

The county is composing a list of all services that it won't be able to be offered because of the hack. The hack is forcing employees to handle many tasks manually.



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