The police department of Atlanta lost years of dashcam videos after the March ransomware attack that hit’s their computer systems.

Attackers encrypt their computer systems with SamSam ransomware strain and demand ransom of US$6,800 to unlock one computer or $51,000 to provide decryption keys for all the infected machines.

The incident affected several internal and external application such as web portal used to pay city bills and judiciary documents.

In an exclusive interview with The Atlanta Journal, the Atlanta Chief of Police Erika Shields told that the dashcam footage “is lost and cannot be recovered.”

Shields assured the public that her department investigatory files or other crucial evidence were not lost. Initially, the department had limited access to investigative files on its servers, but she said access was quickly restored.

The chief also said “the lost footage could compromise DUI cases if an officer’s testimony isn’t sufficient. It’s unclear how many investigations might be affected.”

She said the hack not compromised any other video sources such as police bodycam and none of the criminal case files were lost as it was stored on their servers.

The ransomware is a turnkey business for some criminals, and victims still pay the ever-increasing demands for ransom, it’s become a billion-dollar industry that shows no signs of going away anytime soon.

Taking regular backup is the best practice to defend against the ransomware and scanning your emails for malicious links, content, and attachment can reduce the risks of getting infected.

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