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Baltimore Struggles to Rebuild Systems after Refusing to Pay Bitcoin Ransom

Luana PASCU

May 23, 2019

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Baltimore Struggles to Rebuild Systems after Refusing to Pay Bitcoin Ransom

Baltimore is still recovering from the Robbinhood ransomware attack on the city on May 7 and crushed all administrative transactions, payments and communication. The same ransomware hit the City of Greenville in North Carolina last month.

Baltimore city officials refused to pay ransom in bitcoin to decrypt computers and regain access to data. Local government officials tried to immediately contain the incident and reported it to the FBI to start an investigation.

According to an update from Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, the city of Baltimore still can”t and receive emails, but they are making extensive efforts, including rebuilding systems, to be fully operational. This is taking some time, however, and an exact deadline can”t be provided.

“I am not able to provide you with an exact timeline on when all systems will be restored,” said Young. “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 this process. You may see partial services beginning to restore within a matter of weeks, while some of our more intricate systems may take months in the recovery process.”

According to Euronews, cities Baltimore and Greenville were asked to pay 13 bitcoin in ransom. The source also cites the ransom note procured by the Baltimore Sun, reading:

“We”ve (been) watching you for days and we”ve worked on your systems to gain full access to your company and bypass all of your protections. We won”t talk more, all we know is MONEY! … Hurry up! Tik Tak, Tik Tak, Tik Tak!”

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