Threat Management, Malware, Ransomware

Ransomware looks to take, not borrow, from St. Louis Public Library

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A ransomware infection has effectively paralyzed the St. Louis Public Library System, affecting 700 public computers in 16 locations and preventing visitors from checking out books or browsing the Internet.

“Checkout and computer services at all library locations have been suspended,” reads a message on the library's website, which remains operational. Library staffers are also reportedly unable to send emails.

According to CNN, the ransom note calls for a payment of $35,000 in Bitcoins. Refusing to bow to these demands, the library is reportedly working to wipe and reset its computer system. Library spokeswoman Jen Hatton told CNN that the servers did not hold any patron or employee information.

While an outside vendor handles all checkout information, the infection, which occurred late Wednesday or early Thursday, prevents the library's server from communicating with this vendor – making transactions impossible, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has reported.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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