Florida city pays $600,000 ransom to computer hackers

National News

June 20, 2019 - 10:10 AM

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida city agreed to pay $600,000 in ransom to hackers who took over its computer system, the latest in thousands of attacks worldwide aimed at extorting money from governments and businesses.

The Riviera Beach City Council voted unanimously this week to pay the hackers’ demands, believing the Palm Beach suburb had no choice if it wanted to retrieve its records, which the hackers encrypted. The council already voted to spend almost $1 million on new computers and hardware after hackers captured the city’s system three weeks ago.

The hackers apparently got into the city’s system when an employee clicked on an email link that allowed them to upload malware. Along with the encrypted records, the city had numerous problems including a disabled email system, employees and vendors being paid by check rather than direct deposit and 911 dispatchers being unable to enter calls into the computer. The city says there was no delay in response time.

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