The Boston Public Defenders system suffered a bitcoin ransomware attack a couple of days ago but they still chose not to send the bitcoins that the attacked demanded. They decided to use the system’s back-ups to restore the services and in today’s cryptocurrency news we find out more about the attack.
According to the Boston Globe, the decision not to pay the ransom means a massive slowdown of the system that will affect everyone within the system. The private attorneys started their work for indigent clients and now receive a small fee from the government. The ransomware attack also managed to interrupt the payments taking place at the moment and also locked up all of the essential digital services of the organization including e-mail usage.
As a security measure, the organization went offline in order to clean the viruses. An official statement reads:
“CPCS’s computer systems have been attacked and are not working properly. We are still representing clients. In addition, there is no evidence that confidential information from clients has been released as a result of these attacks.”
Initially, the attack happened on February 27. The organization believed that paying the ransom means a waste of money so they decided to restore the systems manually. Two weeks after, the entire justice system in Boston can feel the damaging effects. The agency cannot really say how long the delay will last or when they will get back online. In the meantime, people working in the agency cannot use their email or enter the agency’s website.
Ransomware attacks became popular in 2015. The attackers mainly targeted police agencies that end up paying the ransom. The public infrastructure is always a target of ransomware attackers since the offer public services and cannot end up being crippled because the people are the ones who pay the higher price.
The public defenders didn’t say how much money the attackers demanded. However, the cost to unlock a computer could start from $100 up to thousands of dollars. The attackers usually target victims individually but law enforcement agencies or other government agencies are not excluded.
Last year, a couple of Dutch hackers were sentenced to community service after attacking more than 1,000 computer systems and gathering over $11,000.
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