Pay the Ransom #872


The US city of Baltimore, a victim this month of a cyberattack that paralyzed part of its computer network, will not pay a ransom to undo the damage, Mayor Bernard Young said Tuesday.

Hackers reportedly had demanded $100,000 in bitcoin, but Young told a news conference “I’m not considering” paying it.

“As a matter of fact, we are going to work with other cities, encouraging them not to pay either,” he said.

Baltimore was the latest big US city, after Atlanta, Georgia and San Antonio, Texas, to be hit with a ransomware attack.

Smaller cities like Greenville, North Carolina and Allentown, Pennsylvania also have been targeted.

Given that no elected official or city employee is going to be on the hook for the bill associated with the clean up and restoration of city services, this is a great stance to take. For the taxpaying citizens on the other hand, life in Charm City is about to get a lot more expensive.

You are, by and large, better off paying the ransom. It is an expensive lesson in the importance of backups (but then if you read the book you already knew that). When a ransomware attack is fully and properly executed, no amount of cyber security wizardry is going to help you. At least not at a price point that makes sense when you consider what the ransom is. The people behind these campaigns are professionals, illicit though their business may be. They’re not going to rip you off because its bad for business.

If you haven’t been hit with ransomware yet, get a sound backup scheme in place now.

If you’ve been hit with ransomware, pay up and get a sound backup scheme in place in parallel.

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