Baltimore Resists Bitcoin Ransom to Enter Second Week of Lockdown

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Baltimore City continues to resist the demands of hackers who have managed to infiltrate and lock its government systems, ensuring that the city has essentially remained in lockdown mode since 7 May 2019.

The “Robbinhood” ransomware attack has placed the local government under siege for two weeks now, forcing it to return to an analog age for most aspects of daily life. Real estate purchases, for example, cannot be carried out because records are simply inaccessible and new ones cannot be filed.

Its incoming mayor, Bernard Young, who will be replacing ousted ex-mayor Catherine Pugh, has remained steadfast and refused to pay the BTC 13 (now worth USD 104,000) that was demanded by the hackers. So far, law enforcement and its online tax portal for property are affected, but city departments are seeking workarounds.

Critics are saying that the refusal to pay could incur even more costs later on, but Baltimore, whose population is at 600,000 people, has already lost money, including some USD 2 million spent this year for upgrading storage. Those new systems have now been irreparably damaged.

The ransomware hackers apparently released some names and passwords from the hack on Twitter, teasing the FBI with a message: “We’ve watching [sic] you for days and we’ve worked on your systems to gain full access to your company and bypass all of your protections.”


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