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Police department forced to pay $500 bounty in ransomware cyberattack

Police agency forced to pay $500 in bitcoins to end ransomware siege due to Cryptoware

By Michael Hatamoto from Feb 22, 2015 @ 13:25 CST

The Midlothian Police Department paid $500 after being compromised with the Cryptoware ransomware, encrypting files on one computer. A spear-phishing email likely is the culprit behind the Cryptoware infection, with Midlothian Police Chief Harold Kaufman confirming a cybersecurity incident.

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The police department spent a total of $606 to rid itself of the infection, following the addition of bank fees and subsequent surcharges.

Cybersecurity experts recommend business users routinely back up their data - and that is often left to IT administrators - with urgent need to train employees so they can spot social engineering attempts.

Ransomware attacks are evolving as cybercriminals develop their custom malware strategies - and Midlothian follows the city of Detroit and a sheriff's office in Tennessee as Cryptoware victims. Forcing victims to pay via bitcoin provides an easy method for criminals to collect the bounty and move on to future victims.

NEWS SOURCES:Arstechnica.com, Chicagotribune.com, Bpaz.nl

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