Hacker’s ransom refused

(WCNC) A North Carolina county targeted by ransomware hackers has announced they won’t pay.

Mecklenburg County will not pay ransomware criminals $23,000 in ransom to unlock dozens of the County’s online applications, County Manager Dena Diorio announced Wednesday.

“I am confident that our backup data is secure and we have the resources to fix this situation ourselves,” Diorio said in a release. “It will take time, but with patience and hard work, all of our systems will be back up and running as soon as possible.”

During a press conference Wednesday, Diorio reiterated that no personal information of county workers or customers was compromised by the hackers, which has affected 48 of 500 servers. The hackers, which are believed to be from either Iran or Ukraine, told Mecklenburg County they had until 1 p.m. Wednesday to pay a ransom of 2 Bitcoin, or $23,000.

A third-party cyber security firm hired by Mecklenburg County contacted the hackers and learned the ransomware used is a new strain called “LockCrypt.” Diorio said the process to get all of the county’s systems back to full functionality could take several days.

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