Cities in Florida have more to fear than hurricanes. In the last month, Riviera Beach and Lake City, both located in the state, had to deal with the consequences of cyberattacks. The former agreed during a city council meeting to pay hackers $600,000 in bitcoin to restore its computer networks, which were crippled by an email virus, while the latter paid close to half a million dollars to cyber criminals after a ransomware hit.
“Over the last several years, we’ve seen many cities facing [this threat],” said Thom Rickert, emerging risks specialist at Argo Group US. “But, the requests have been relatively small, under $50,000, to release the data. Now, we’ve been seeing much larger demands [and] the $600,000 is significantly over the average for ransomware demands on local governments.”
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