Files being held for ransom by hackers

Files being held for ransom by hackers

Diorio told county commissioners in a meeting that the files were being held for ransom as the hackers were demanding 2 bitcoins, which is now worth nearly $25,000 (at the time of this article's writing).

County Manager Dena Diorio joins host Mike Collins with the latest on Mecklenburg County's ransomware attack. and Todd Moss, once the top U.S. diplomat in West Africa, talks about his experiences and diplomacy, as well as his series of fictional worldwide thrillers inspired by his diplomatic work.

Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio told reporters that local officials face a deadline of 1 p.m. Wednesday to decide whether to pay a ransom of two bitcoin, or more than $23,000. A third-party group could restore said files, but using them could cost more than what the hackers were demanding. There's also no guarantee hackers will give the decryption code once they receive the money. Diorio said the process to get all of the county's systems back to full functionality could take several days.

The ransomware was quickly spotted and isolated, but still affected 48 of the county's 500 servers, Diorio said.

Diorio said all servers were operating, but information on scheduled medical trips by some 300 patients were lost and a domestic violence hotline was sending calls directly to voicemail. The outage will reportedly affect email, printing, and other ways to conduct business at most county offices.

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Things may also take longer at county offices because until the issue is resolved because they will be doing things on paper instead of electronically.

- Mecklenburg County had an intrusion earlier this morning on their online and computer systems.

Diorio said leaders are working with a technology consultant and haven't ruled out paying the ransom.

Officials say they have no idea who the hackers are and no way to track them down.

"Based on our discussions with our attorney, there are a lot of places that pay, because it is easier to pay, it's cheaper to pay than to try to fix it on your own", she said. It's unclear at this time how many county employees received the email.

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