Baltimore’s second ‘ransomware’ attack in just 15 months is still ongoing, with hackers having digitally seized approximately 10,000 government computers in the US city.
These hackers have demanded the government pay up 13 bitcoins (approximately $100,000) before they release their grip on the computers.
The hackers first gained control over the computers on May 7 using RobbinHood, an incredibly difficult to crack ransomware programme. The ordeal has been going on for two weeks, leading to numerous difficulties for residents.
As reported by NPR, government employees have been locked out of their own email accounts, while citizens have been left unable to pay water bills and make property transactions.
The city government has so far refused to pay the ransom, and is reportedly ‘well into the restorative process’, according to a statement made by newly appointed Baltimore Mayor Jack Young.
In this statement, Mayor Young said he was unable to give an exact timeline in regards to when the system will be fully restored:
Our focus is getting critical services back online, and doing so in a manner that ensures we keep security as one of our top priorities throughout this process.
You may see partial services beginning to restore within a matter of weeks, while some of our more intricate systems may take months in the recovery process.
The FBI and Secret Service are said to be conducting an investigation, while experts have been hired to help with restoring service.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.