City of Sarasota hit with ransomware

The computer system of the city of Sarasota, Fla. was shut down for a day following a ransomware attack.
The computer system of the city of Sarasota, Fla. was shut down for a day following a ransomware attack.

Although a ransomware attack hit the city of Sarasota, Fla. in February, owing to an ongoing investigation, details of the attack are only now being revealed, according to WWSB.

Authorities still don't know who was behind the attack, which shut down the city's computer systems after an employee opened an email containing the malware which subsequently spread throughout the city's computer network.

Once the malware was downloaded, as is typical with a ransomware attack, files on the system were encrypted rendering them inaccessible by users – unless a ransom demand was paid to unlock the encryption. However, rather than pay off the criminals, personnel in the city of Sarasota's IT department were able to recover most of the files and had the system back up within a day.

Citing the ongoing investigation, officials were unwilling to respond to queries from the local ABC 7 news outlet, but the FBI is investigating.
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