Ransom note in Licking Co. cyber attack demanded over $30,000

NEWARK, OH (WCMH) – Cyber attackers ransomed Licking County’s computer files and data for over $30,000.

The ransomware virus forced the county to shut down their computer systems and phone lines for about two weeks back in February.

County Commissioner Tim Bubb said they were adamant about not negotiating with criminals and ended up fixing the problem without paying the ransom.

He said in the ransom note, the cyber attackers asked for 28 bitcoins or over $30,000 to get their files back.

Instead, Bubb said they were able to solve the issue with their own back-up data. Within 10 days, all of their major systems were up and running. Now, they are making minor adjustments, but everything including their 911 call center, computers and phone lines are and have been operating normally.

Bubb said in total, the incident cost the county about $50,000. But, he said they were glad to pay their employees overtime to fix it rather than give the criminals the money.

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