Cybersecurity experts alert Baltimore to stop "playing" with ransomware attacks

Cyber ​​security experts say Baltimore is playing fire as a deadline for paying thousands of dollars in ransom to hackers who have several of the city's hostages who have hosted, come and gone.

Two weeks ago, a cyber attack curled Baltimore's computer network. The Internet twenties wanted 13 bitcoins – about $ 100,000 – at first, but the sum has increased $ 10,000 a day since. The deadline for payment – Friday – has come and gone. The city doesn't say it paid, but several servers were still useless on Monday.

"What is frustrating with Baltimore is that it has been quite a long time since the infection," Daniel Tobok, CEO of Cytelligence, told Fox News. "If they're not fully operational now, why are they still playing this?"


Tobok, a company that helped 500 municipalities hit by ransomware attacks, says while not necessarily talking to pay for cybercrime, he believes that in some cases "you have no choice, you must make a business decision."

He also warns that if Baltimore keeps stalling, the outcome may be devastating.

"Baltimore plays over time," he said. "They'll come to a point where they have two choices ̵[ads1]1; A. The ransom requirements will skyrocket or B. The hackers will close the account they have used and move out."

If that happens, any communication or hope to recover data may be out of the window, Tobok said.

The residents of Baltimore Rupert Choudhry say he holds the "breath" and worries that this may be quiet before an even bigger cyber storm.

"We're all in wait mode," said Choudhry Fox News.

The FBI's cyber corps and experts from Microsoft have been working around the clock trying to help Mary's largest city, and the Mayor's Office told Fox News Monday that there has been no increase. in the seriousness of the attack, but did not give details beyond that.

On Tuesday, Mayor Jack Young said he could not give "an accurate timeline on when all systems should be restored."


"Like all big companies, we have thousands of systems and applications," he said in a statement forwarded to Fox. "Our focus is to get critical services back online and do it in a way that ensures that we keep security as one of our top priorities throughout this process."

He added that the city could see "partial services beginning to recover in one. Whenever some of the more" intricate systems can take months in the recovery process. "

The attack itself has already had a devastating domino effect in Charm City. The residents have not been able to pay their bills online, the finance ministers can only accept checks or money orders, and no real estate transactions have been carried out since the attack, and most major insurance companies have even banned their agents from issuing property policies in Baltimore , According to the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors.

Referring to the ongoing criminal investigation, Frank Johnson and other city executives said his hands were tied and could not provide details of the attacked or realistic forecast when the city was going. 19659003] They have several "work arounds" in place that allow some department Inputs can slowly get back to the business. Johnson called the situation "incredible fluid."

"Someone who is in this business tells you that as you learn more, these plans change a minute," he said.

Unfortunately, this is not Baltimore's first round

There have been two major violations of the city's computer systems under Johnson's clock.

The latest batch issue comes just over a year after another ransomware attack hit Baltimore's 911 shipping system, resulting in a 17-hour shutdown of automated emergency shipment. The March 2018 attack required operating the critical 911 service in manual mode.

Johnson is one of the city's highest paid employees, earning $ 250,000 a year. It is more than the mayor, the city's top prosecutor and the health commissioner paid.

This last attack came a week after the firing of a city employee who, the inspector generally said, had downloaded thousands of sexually explicit images on his work computer.

While all municipalities are threatened by malicious software, cyber security experts say organizations that fall victim to such attacks often have not done a thorough job of patching systems on a regular basis.

Asher DeMetz, the leading security consultant for the technology company Sungard Accessibility Services, told The Associated Press that the number of days Baltimore's servers has been down is unusually long.


"Baltimore should have been prepared with a recovery strategy and been able to recover within much less time. That time will be dictated by a risk assessment that governs how long they can afford to be down, "DeMetz said. "They should have been ready, especially after the previous attack, to recover from ransomware."

Only in the last month contains a list of known cyber attacks Stuart City, Fla., City of Greenville, New York State, Imperial County, Cleveland Airport, Genesee County, Fisher County in Texas and Sugar City School District.

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