Midland, a town in Canada has been reported to have paid Bitcoins as Ransomware to gain access back to its servers.
Midland Town Computers Hacked
Midland town in Canada had its systems hacked with malware (ransomware) on September 1st. The attack led to the encryption of the information stored on many of the towns’ computer systems. This made the information on them inaccessible to their owners.
Afterward, they got a message asking for ransom in cryptocurrencies before they can get the key to decrypt their encrypted files.
The town decided to pay the ransom which specific amount in Bitcoin is unknown. According to a press release by the town, it noted that the decision to make the payment was arrived at through the guidance of cybersecurity experts, to regain access to the town’s servers. It was stated that although it is not ideal, the decision was made in the interest of restoring things to normalcy.
The town had previously purchased an insurance policy to cover for an event like this. Fortunately, the vital services of water, fire, waste management services were not affected by the hack.
Though these servers are yet to be back to normal function, however, significant progress was stated to have been made in re-accessing the system as the internet connectivity is relaunched to buildings and access to important email accounts has been obtained. Notably, the hackers did not abuse or steal any data from the system has confirmed.
Cryptocurrency And Ransomware
Hackers have been attacking systems with malware demanding for ransom in exchange for users regaining access to their PCs. This method of forcing internet users to part away with their cryptocurrencies has become rampant in recent times.
Why cryptocurrency for Ransomware payment? Hackers demand cryptocurrency because of the identity concealment that cryptocurrency offers. Cryptocurrency wallet has no name linked to it or the identity of a particular person. Thus, it aids the malicious acts better.
Recently, the PGA server was hacked as preparation was underway for its golf week tournament, and followed by a demand for ransom before the PGA could access their server. The hacked server contained valuable marketing materials. A demand was made for Bitcoin which PGA was reported not to have paid at the time.
So also, some months back a municipal of Wasaga beach paid $35,000 to unlock their servers which were under the attach of ransomware.
The increasing trend of this act by cyber attackers continues to tarnish the image of the cryptocurrency, as the public, and also regulatory bodies see virtual currencies as a tool for dark web activities.