Atlanta Held Hostage

Where’s Liam Neeson when you need him? Not that the Taken movie star could do much in this case seeing as the crime is digital and instead of a person being held hostage, it’s the data of one of the biggest cities in America.

Last Thursday morning, city workers turned on their computers to find a ransom note and demand for $51,000 in bitcoin in exchange for the safe return of the city’s data. That left authorities scrambling and city’s computers that process payments and relay court information crippled or out of services altogether. The city is working with the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI as well as experts from Microsoft and Cisco to remedy the problem. No word on whether or not the ransom will be paid.

Having a good cybersecurity incident response program is fundamental to all organizations and should include how to deal with ransomware (and how to buy bitcoin). There are pros and cons to paying the ransom in a ransomware event and most people say you shouldn’t. This however, is not a technology decision and should be immediately pushed upstairs to the C-Suite.