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Another ransom paid to hackers by an American city

A second small Florida city paid thousands of dollars to ransomware attackers who hacked their computer systems.

This time officials from Lake City agreed Tuesday to pay 42 bitcoin, roughly $426,000. Lake City is a community of about 12,000 people west of Jacksonville. Lake City police said the city paid a $10,000 deductible to its insurance company, which will cover the rest of the ransom. The ransomware program attacked the city's network three different ways and took out email systems, landline phones and online credit card payment.

Lake-City-Florida
Lake City - Florida

There were at least 22 reported breaches of public sector networks until now in 2019. Six-figure ransom demands are becoming more common. Complete recovery of a city's systems can take up to several weeks and cost cities millions more than the agreed ransom. Ransomware attackers are hitting both companies and cities. These attacks happen every day and many are never publicized. The Federal Bureau of Investigation advises against paying hackers, saying there is no guarantee they will release data and warning that victims could be targeted again or asked to pay even more money for decryption keys. In many cases cyberattacks had compromised backups too.

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