Florida cities have different experiences with ransomware

Two cities in Palm Beach County, Florida, now have experienced ransomware.
More than a year separates the attacks, and the costs escalated considerably.

The Village of Palm Springs, which is not getting much media attention for the ransomware attack it says it experienced in 2018, paid $1,200 in ransom. Its costs for recovery, according to the city manager, also included hiring an IT firm for $70,000 to assist with recovery, and creating the position of IT Director.

The city manager told a local television station the hackers split their ransom demands into payment for three decryption keys. The city paid for two, then refused to pay for the third. So at that time, $600 was the average going rate.

Now Riviera Beach has made headlines for paying $600,000 in ransom to hackers to try to get their systems back. No word yet on whether they succeeded.

Even though Riviera Beach officials told a local newspaper said they expect insurance to cover half of the payment, the city still must buy new systems, which it estimated would cost an additional $941,000. The new systems were planned, to be sure, but not for another year or two.

Oh, and Riviera Beach also hired a new IT Director.



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