Threat Management

Jackson County, Georgia pays $400,000 ransom to release files

Jackson County, Ga., is the latest ransomware victim to fork over a payment to its attackers in order to regain access to its encrypted files.

The county government paid out $400,000 over the weekend to the attackers that struck on March 6 effectively taking down the municipal government computer network, including 911. County officials told the local TV station, that ransom fee would cost about the same as paying for the systems to be restored and by doing so would get everything back on line much quicker.

SC Media’s inquiry to the county concerning the payment and restoration of services has not yet been answered, however, Jackson’s website appears to be operational. However, it is
known the county's email system is still not functioning.

Paying off the criminal organization behind a cyberattack is not a recommended action, but it is common knowledge that organizations with no recourse often pay. One of the most recent cases took place last week when Columbia Surgical Specialists of Spokane, Wash., paid $15,000 ransom to unlock files.

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