This Canadian Town is Coughing Up Bitcoin After Ransomware Attack

This Canadian Town is Coughing Up Bitcoin After Ransomware Attack

A city in the Ontario Province of Canada has determined to pay hackers the ransom they are directing in bitcoin to get its computer network going over.

Midland, which has a community of over 16,000, had its computer systems breached and affected with ransom malware that encrypted files at the opening of the month. The cyber attack performed the town’s computers inoperational for around 48 hours and this crippled email services, processing of payments, issuance of permits, reloading of transit cards and processing of marriage applications.

In the ‘Best Interest’ of Midland…

Critical services such as waste management and fire response were, though, not changed. To facilitate decryption, the hackers have been asking that a ransom is paid in bitcoin. The town has consequently begun the process of settling the general ransom value in bitcoin to get the decryption keys.

“Below the guidance of cybersecurity experts, we have started the process to pay the price in exchange for the decryption keys,” a media release from Midland Town Council read. “Although not ideal, it is in our best moment to bring the system back online as soon as possible. The Town had earlier secured an insurance policy to cover such things. Decryption efforts are moving.”

The settlement by Midland Town Council to submit to the demands of the hackers stands in opposition to the move by the Professional Golfers Association of America to decline to pay a ransom in bitcoin after related malware was planted on its computer systems early last month. This was even though the hackers declaring that only they held the decryption software as CCN reported:

“We particularly have decryption software for your position. No decryption software is accessible to the public.”

Lucrative Business

In according to remit, the ransom Midland is, nevertheless, not alone in favoring to pay up to get its systems running again as many victims have done so if the values obtained by ransomware creators are anything to go by. Last month, for example, it was stated by a U.K.-based cybersecurity firm, Sophos, that the creators of the SamSam ransomware had instructed to rake in more than US$6 million since it began proliferating in late 2015 with the highest amount paid by a person being US$64,000.

Additionally, a statement released last year by researchers drawn from Google, Chain analysis, University of California, San Diego and New York University decided that creators of different ransomware managed to generate US$25 million in 24 months, most of which was being paid out through the BTC-e cryptocurrency exchange. 

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