After executing the attack that disabled many city computers in New Bedford, the hacker group behind the incident demanded a ransom of $5.3 million. This ransom was demanded in exchange for the decryption key to unlock files encrypted by this cyber attack.
The nature of this attack was kept undisclosed till September 4, when mayor Mitchell spoke about it in a press conference. The attack was previously blamed on an unspecified virus.
How did the city respond?
The city didn’t pay because of a lack of funds. If New Bedford had paid this ransom, it would have gone down in history as the largest ransomware payment made to date. The city made a counteroffer of $400,000, a value which was approximately what other municipalities paid as ransoms recently. The attackers declined the offer and the city decided to restore its data from back-ups.
New Bedford’s MIS department has rebuilt the server network completely, restored applications, and replaced affected workstations. The city’s insurance company has made the monetary contribution necessary for the recovery process.