Hackers targeting the police department in Riviera Beach, Florida managed to lock down the city’s entire computer system and now the city will pay a $600,000 ransom in bitcoin to unlock the computers.
The recent hack is the latest in thousands worldwide that have been extorting money from governments with ransomware, encrypting their data and demanding payment for access.
The Riviera Beach City Council voted unanimously to pay the $600,000 ransom to hackers who took over its computer system. The council had earlier voted to spend more than $900,000 on a new computer system after the city’s system was captured.
The takeover of the city’s computers began when someone in the police department opened an email with a virus that encrypted the city’s computer system, sending all of the city’s operations offline.
City governments in Baltimore, Atlanta, Newark, N.J., and Sarasota, Fla., have also been hit by ransomware.