Ransomware Actors Targets Police Department in Miami, Demand Millions in Ransom

Ransomware Actors Targets Police Department in Miami, Demand Millions in Ransom

  • No interruption in public safety services was observed, as per police officials.
  • The attackers have demanded to pay them millions to regain access to information stored online.

The City of North Miami Beach was hit by a ransomware attack as police officials detected the infection on their department’s computer network earlier in the week.

What happened?

A ransomware attack on the North Miami Beach Police Department has reportedly encrypted files on its computer networks.

  • The police IT personnel immediately shut down the affected computers and alerted the FBI and Secret Service.
  • No interruption in public safety services was observed, as per police officials.

Ransom demand

The attackers have demanded the police department to pay them millions of dollars to regain access to information stored online. So far, no information has been revealed on the identity of the attacker group or what information was compromised in the attack.

Comments

The police department of the city said, “We continue to work closely with these federal partners, as well as the county police department and a third-party forensic investigator, to determine the extent and objectives of the attack and how best to address it.”

In the past

Though law enforcement agencies advise against it, many cities in the US have earlier paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in ransom to protect their data. However, last year, the United States Conference of Mayors promised that its members would not give in to ransomware demands.

Just two years back, the City of Atlanta had refused to pay a ransom of slightly over $50,000 but had to spend ten million dollars in the aftermath of the attack to restore its IT systems.

What if..?

Some experts suggest that paying ransom be made illegal. Two bills were introduced last month in the New York State Senate that, if passed, would put a ban on municipalities from using taxpayers' money to pay ransoms demanded by cybercriminals.