Riviera Beach agrees to pay Bitcoin ransom. Stuart opted not to pay.
A South Florida city is planning to pay a hacker to get their computer systems back. Officials in Riviera Beach voted this week to pay the hacker 65 Bitcoins– a value of 600 thousand dollars. City computers have not been functional since an employee clicked on a malicious email link three weeks ago. A similar cyberattack happened to the city of Stuart back in April, but the city was able to avoid paying the ransom.
City Manager David Dyess says the city was lucky in that an IT employee was putting in overtime on the weekend and spotted the attack while it was happening. That meant the hackers weren’t able to get to all of the city’s backups, before it was too late. The hackers still demanded money through bitcoin, transactions intended to be anonymous. The city opted not to pay. Dyess says preparation is key for an attack like this.
Dyess won’t say how much they asked for, he did say that their preparation saved them hundreds of thousands of dollars.