The Canadian city of Midland, in Ontario, has suffered a ransomware attack on its computer systems earlier this month, which has left all the city’s documents encrypted. Now, the city’s officials decided to pay the ransom in Bitcoin (BTC).
According to a press release published by the Midland People’s Council, the authorities, together with a group of cybersecurity experts, are carrying out the payment in Bitcoin (BTC) to the group of cybercriminals to get back the control over the town’s computer systems.
The press release doesn’t specify how much Bitcoin (BTC) the authorities of Midland will pay. However, the officials affirm that the city has an insurance policy that is created explicitly for this kind of situations.
“Under the guidance of cybersecurity experts, we have begun the process of paying the ransom in exchange for the decryption keys. Although not ideal, it is in our best interest to get the system back online as quickly as possible. The people had previously secured an insurance policy to cover such circumstances. Deciphering efforts are underway,” state the Midland Town Council.
Canadian city affected by a ransomware attack decided to pay the cybercriminals in Bitcoin (BTC)
The ransomware attack occurred on September 1st at 2 AM and took over the computer systems throughout the city of Midland, in Ontario, for 48 hours. Then, the majority of the administrative services became limited, even though the hackers did not affect critical systems such as waste management and fire response services, which could have endangered human lives.
Similarly, authorities say that this ransomware attack demanding for Bitcoin (BTC) took them by surprise as they were just planning to implement infrastructure changes to improve their systems’ security by the end of 2018. However, thanks to this unfortunate experience, informational security become a priority for the officials of the Canadian city of Midland, in Ontario.
The ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly popular in the world, as according to a study by Sophos, a British IT security firm, the creators of SamSam ransomware managed to raise $6 million from ransomware attacks. Also, one of the most potent ransomware of 2017, WannaCry, generated multimillion-dollar losses across Europe.