The government functioning in Atlanta, has been stopped for a week. The software holding the open source of an unidentified file became visible on Municipal computers, seeking for a payment of $51,000 worth of Bitcoin. If this demand was not met, the hackers warned that the city functions will get stopped. And eventually, the city functioning including the police services got stopped and the matter hasn’t been solved yet.
Hackers in Atlanta Demand Bitcoin
National Broadcast Corporation (NBC) television Atlanta, Georgia affiliate, 11 Alive, exposed the matter on public on Thursday. “The city of Atlanta’s computers are being held hostage. The anchors announced police departments, courts, and just about every single department was impacted by the ongoing cyber attack. The attackers demanded the curious sum of $51,000 in the equivalent of bitcoin as ransom”.
The municipality employees found an email which made them switch off the computers and unplug them. At about the same time, a message appeared on the screen which demanded Bitcoins. Even though, initially the authorities didn’t accept it to be an attack , but further investigation found this to be a ransomware attack.
By afternoon, the customers were stopped from paying water bills and the local government warned the customers to be careful, incase the personal information got stolen. “We don’t know the extent of the attack. We want to make sure we don’t put a Band-Aid on a gaping wound. We don’t know the extent or if anyone’s personal data or bank accounts will be compromised. All of us are subject to this attack”, said the officials.
The attack has happened during an emotional moment in Atlanta. The city was all ready to host March Madness basketball events and a gun control rally on Saturday. However, the Mayor has not answered whether the ransom is going to be paid or not.