Massachusetts police department pays $500 following ransomware infection


In Massachusetts, the town of Tewksbury paid a $500 Bitcoin ransom after the police department's network was infected with a newer variant of CryptoLocker ransomware, according to a Saturday report by the Tewksbury Town Crier.

Tewksbury Police Chief Timothy Sheehan told the newspaper that the infection – which greatly affected the department's ability to operate – occurred on Dec. 7, 2014, and that the department noticed the issue on Dec. 8, 2014.

Police systems were down for roughly five days while the department worked to unlock the data, but it was unable to do so despite assistance from the FBI, Homeland Security, Massachusetts State Police and private firms, the report indicates.

The department's most recent backup was 18 months old, according to the report. Steps are being taken to ensure a similar incident does not occur again.

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