Lake City, Fla. IT manager pays the price for ransomware attack


The Lake City, Fla., city council fired the municipality’s IT director just one week after that body voted to pay the cybercriminals behind a ransomware attack that knocked they city offline $460,000.

Local news outlets reported that Joe Helfenberg, city manager of Lake City, confirmed that the Brian Hawkins was fired from his position as city IT manager. Helfenberg also told WCJB TV the city did receive the decryption keys from the attackers and now expects to be fully up and running in about two weeks.

Lake City was hit with the Triple Threat ransomware on June 10 and two days later told residents in a Facebook post that it was in the process of recovering from the attack. The city then reversed course on June 24 when its council voted, on the advice of outside consultants, to pay the ransom.

Lake City’s move mirrors one made by Riviera Beach, Fla., last week when it opted to pay $600,000 to its attackers.

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