Boston Legal Computer System Crippled By Bitcoin Malware Ransom Demands Over Half a Month
Ransomware is, unfortunately, a very common problem for many companies and branches of public services. The attackers generally focus on finding important organizations with flawed security mechanisms and then start the attack. Now, as the Boston Globe reported, the latest target was the Boston legal system, and the attackers wanted Bitcoin.
The Boston Globe has recently reported that the committee who oversees public defenders in Boston was attacked by ransomware two weeks ago. This has considerably slowed down the system, as the administrators decided that they would not pay for the ransomware.
Instead, they used their backup systems to restore some of the devices which were attacked by the ransomware. However, this has caused several problems for the organization.
For instance, private attorneys work for indigent clients and receive a fee for doing so. Without the systems online, they were not paid. Another problem was that several people from the company were not even able to use email services.
All systems were taken down in order to clear out the malware infection and free the network again, however, this had a cost in efficiency and the department had to work in a handicapped way for about two weeks.
On its official site, the committee has affirmed that the representation of the clients was still working as intended, just slowed down due to the technical difficulties. Also, they affirmed that they were only locked out of the information and that none of it was actually stolen during the attack, so the clients could remain calm.
According to the Boston Globe, the attack was originally made on February 27. Right from the start, the administration thought it was a waste of money to pay the ransomware, so they just restored the systems manually.
This has caused the entire justice system of the city to suffer, unfortunately, since not all of the services are already online and people are working without using email and some parts of the website. Many cases were also delayed by the courts because of this.
At the time of this report, there was no information about how much the attackers asked to free the network.
Bitcoin Ransomware Are Still Dangerous But Not so Common Anymore
Fortunately, Bitcoin ransomware is not so common as it once was. The reason? Because attackers are now so focused on something that is way more profitable: cryptojacking.
In case you are not familiar with the term, cryptojacking is to use the computer of someone else to mine cryptos, generally Monero (XRM), which is a privacy coin, so it is easy to launder it later.
The trouble with ransomware is that a lot of people, just like the office from our report, simply choose not to pay it. It is an effective way to cause damage, but not so much to actually get money from your victims. Cryptojacking, on the other hand, is hard to detect without the attackers getting at least some profit first.
The first cases of ransomware got mainstream in 2015 when various police agencies were attacked and some even paid in Bitcoin. Generally, the best targets are really the public sector because they simply cannot be stopped for two or three weeks.