LaPorte County pays $130,000 ransom to regain access

After attempting to recover from a ransomware attack for about a week, the LaPorte County Board of Commissioners opted to pay the $130,000 ransom in order to regain access to their network.

Local news reports have the county paying the ransom after negotiating with the attackers and noting that insurance will cover about $100,000 of the price tag. The attack was made public on July 6 and even though most of the network was shut down to avoid it spreading the ransomware, now believed to be Ryuk, impacted enough systems, including back ups, forcing the county’ hand, The News Dispatch reported.

With the payment LaPorte joins a growing number of municipalities that have decided to ignore FBI and infosec executives’ recommendations that ransoms not be paid. In the past two months Riviera Beach and Lake City, Fla. combined paid more than $1 million in ransoms.

Additionally, The United States Conference of Mayors issued a resolution at its 87th annual meeting to stand united against paying ransoms when their municipality is hit with a ransomware attack. The organization stated in its resolution that paying ransoms merely encourages others to conduct similar attacks by showing there could be a financial benefit, and that it behooves municipal governments to de-incentivize these attacks to prevent further harm.

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