Bitcoin hackers hold city of Baltimore to ransom
The US city of Baltimore is being held to ransom by anonymous hackers who took over thousands of government computers with a powerful form of malware.
The cyber criminals are demanding 13 bitcoins – around $100,000 – for access to the computer systems to be restored.
The city’s mayor, Bernard Young, is refusing to pay, which means officials are unable to process utility bills, parking fines or performer other basic administrative tasks.
Mayor Young who had been in office less than a month when the cyber attack was launched, said the city is working with the FBI and other experts to locate the perpetrators and regain control of the computers.
“We won’t talk more, all we know is MONEY!” Hurry up! Tik Tak, Tik Tak, Tik Tak,” the hacker’s ransom note said.
The attack took place two weeks ago but with the city refusing to pay out to the cyber criminals, the mayor warned it may take several months for all services to be restored.
“I am not able to provide you with an exact timeline on when all systems will be restored,” Mayor Young said in a statement. “Like any large enterprise, we have thousands of systems and applications. Our focus is getting critical services back online, and doing so in a manner that ensures we keep security as one of our top priorities throughout the process.