During this week, numerous government services located in Atlanta, Georgia, a main metropolitan American city were brought to a stop.
Municipal computers displayed ransomware, stressing a payment of USD 51,000 that is equivalent to bitcoin or the important city will fall victim to all operations being shut down.
The cybercriminals did uphold their threats and services across the city were affected which included the police. Solutions have not yet been provided, the issue at hand seem to be prolonged, getting into the weekend.
Bitcoin demanded by Atlanta Ransomware Attackers
Early Thursday morning, 11 Alive, the National Broadcast Corporation (NBC) television Atlanta announced the story, that computers’ found in the city of Atlanta were being held captive.
The declaration continued that courts, police departments and almost every single public administration are affected by this current cyber attack. In the equivalent of bitcoin, the hackers emphasis an intriguing amount of USD 51,000.
A formal email about a significant problem enough to declare the shutting down and unplugging of computers was sent to city workers at 5:30 am. Employees also saw the request for bitcoins on their monitors at almost the same period. In order to be able to operate the system, they had to make a payment of the said amount.
At first, the city argued that it was a computer outage, however seepages from different government agency detail another explanation to local media. All the points given, lead to what is called a ransomware attack.
However, this is not the first time a US city has been hit by these form of attacks, to name a few: Sarasota, Florida (33 million USD demanded was escape by an attentive employees who unplug the computer); Leeds, Alabama (USD 12000 payment to reenter operating system); Hinesville, Georgia; Farmington, New Mexico (currently locked out of their computers); Englewood, Colorado (the complete shut down of the whole city’s computer setup).
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) are currently working on the issue. Evidenced by a rumor that the city would close government offices on the proceeding business day if require shows the level of seriousness of the incident.
Maybe the most surprising element of the entire situation was not being aware of the degree that this compromise holds.
Evidently, the popular international airport located in the city was not compromised. However, Police resorted to writing and filing reports manually which seems like cautions taken instead of on the basis of the attack.