Baltimore’s Bitcoin Ransom Attack Amounts to $18 Million, Hackers’ $80,000 Demand Gets Unfulfilled
It has been recently revealed that Baltimore’s latest crypto ransom attack resulted in nearly $18 million spent on recovery. The attack, which supposedly took place on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, not only had the city scrambling to get the effects eliminated to the best of their abilities, but also left them deciding on whether hackers’ demand should be fulfilled, reports CCN.
Why a total of $18 million? As per a breakdown provided, $10 million went into recovering the city’s IT infrastructure, and an additional $1 million on replacing computer hardware. Furthermore, the city was left with an 8 million cut in their overall revenues – totaling over $18 million in expense.
As for how the city dealt with the hackers’ $80,000 demand, they’ve decided against paying it. The Federal investigators advised the city against paying the ransom because it doesn’t guarantee the return of data (i.e. at least not 100%).
Another reason why hackers did not get what they wanted is merely on the lack of trust, i.e. “You couldn’t just bring [the system] back up and believe they were gone.” Furthermore, the way the ransom was asked supposedly did not sit well with authorities, which led the leaders to believe that the city’s system might be illegally accessed again.
Adding to the previous points made, Mayor Bernard C. Jack Young noted that paying the ransom was equivalent to encouraging criminal activities, and eventually incurring more costs moving forward.
People seemed to have been upset with the authorities’ decision, here’s something expressed by one Twitter user, Dan Staples (@_dismantl):
Another user, Syntax @syntax976, made a valid point in terms of the city’s overall system noting:
I am wondering why the city did not have viable offsite backup systems in place? This would have made the down time days not weeks or months. This is IT 101! And when someone says the cost think how long you can store backups for the $18M this fiasco has cost so far. #ransomware
— Syntax @SANs HackFest! (@syntax976) June 6, 2019
News outlet Bein Crypto also happens to have reported on this matter. They have since referenced, a Twitter user, Jayne Miller, who shares the good aspect of the entire destruction. More specifically, it has been revealed that
“35% of city employees back on line with new passwords […] should be 90% by the end of the week.”
While things are starting to get back to normal, the rate at which recovery is taking place is definitely rather slow.