Hackers demand Bitcoin | Hackers have shut down key computer systems in the U.S. city of Atlanta, Georgia, and are demanding $51,000 in Bitcoin to reactivate the affected systems.
Hackers demand Bitcoin: situation completely unclear
The mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, announced the attack in a press conference on Thursday, March 22. She told press leaders that the officials “do not know the extent[of the attack] or whether personal data or bank accounts have been compromised. We are all exposed to this attack.”
The attack was detected at 5 a.m. on March 22nd. The City of Atlanta found that the “failures” related to systems used by some customers to pay bills and receive court information.
The City of Atlanta is currently experiencing outages on various customer facing applications, including some that customers may use to pay bills or access court-related information. We will post any updates as we receive them. pic.twitter.com/kc51rojhBl
— City of Atlanta, GA (@Cityofatlanta) March 22, 2018
City officials are reportedly working with the FBI, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Microsoft to determine the extent of the violation and find a solution. On 23 March, city officials called on citizens to monitor their personal data and accounts because they believe that their personal data could be compromised by hacking.
At the time of publication, the situation has not yet been resolved. Bitcoin is currently traded at an average $8,500, which means that the ransom demanded would cost the city about 6 bitcoins.
This is not the first attempt by hackers to hold municipal computer systems “hostage” in exchange for crypto currency. In November 2017, a hacker attacked the Sacramento Regional Transit System for a ransom of 1 bitcoin, worth approximately $8,000 at the time of the attack.
In a more malicious example of a ransom for Bitcoin, a parcel bomber in Germany in a parcel sent to a Christmas market in Potsdam in December 2017 demanded 10 million ransom in Bitcoin. The package, which did not explode, contained a QR code for the deposit of bitcoins, including explosive materials consisting of fireworks and nails.