Monday, June 17, 2024

Hackers Demand $5.3 Million After Locking Massachusetts City Computers With RYUK Ransomware

Cybercriminals compromise the New Bedford, Massachusetts city computers with the Ryuk Ransomware and demanding $5.3 million to unlock the compromised computers.

July 5, 2019, City of New Bedford’s Management Information Systems (MIS) identified the ransomware that infected several computers.

Soon after detection the MIS staff disconnected the City’s computer servers and shut down systems.

But the ransomware already infects 158 computer workstations which are 4 percent of the 3,532 computers used by city employees across all departments.

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell said in a press conference “threat actors behind the Ryuk Ransomware demanding $5.3 million ransom in Bitcoin to provide a decryption key unlock the infected computers.

He says “I decided to make a counter-offer using insurance proceeds in the amount of $400,000, which I determined to be consistent with ransoms recently paid by other municipalities.”

Due to a low number of computers infected with the ransomware, City decided to restore the compromised system files from backup.

“Also, the attacker rejected that offer and made no counter demand. Rather than offer more, the city opted to recover its data on its own.” Mitchell said.

Ryuk first appeared in August 2018, and while not incredibly active across the globe.

Initially, Ryuk distributed via massive spam campaigns and exploit kits and there is some specific operation such as extensive network mapping, hacking, and credential collection required before each operation.

Few months before National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) from the UK issued an alert for Ryuk ransomware attack that is actively targeting global organization and government networks.

Similarly, last march, Rural Jackson County, Georgia computer systems are infected with Massive Ryuk ransomware attack that leads to shutting down all the operations.

Unfortunately, they can’t restore the files so officials paid $400,000 as a ransom amount to cybercriminals in order to recover the infected system.

You can also read the Ransomware Attack Response and Mitigation Checklist.

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BALAJI is an Ex-Security Researcher (Threat Research Labs) at Comodo Cybersecurity. Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder - Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.

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