The ransom that the Canadian town of Midland has paid to cyber criminals to have its servers unblocked was in the form of Bitcoin (BTC), media source Global News reported last week, quoting a local spokesperson. How much Midland has paid in cryptocurrency, however, was not specified.
On September 1, the town in the Ontario province became a victim of a malware attack, as hackers managed to encrypt the information stored on several town systems, leaving them virtually unusable. Right after, Midland got a ransom demand to get decryption keys. The town authorities decided a few days later to pay the sum.
“Although not ideal, it is in our best interest to bring the system back online as quickly as possible. The Town had previously secured an insurance policy to cover such circumstances. Decryption efforts are underway,” a statement on Midland’s web site reads.
Although the town systems are not yet back to their normal function, a “significant progress” has been achieved. So far, the local authorities have managed to relaunch the Internet connection in their buildings and have restored access to crucial email accounts.
The criminals have not abused or stolen any data from the town network, Midland assured and added that untouched by the attack were as also vital services, like water and waste management, and fire and rescue services.
While the Midland malware attack ended with a nod to the ransom demanded, a cybercrime story that recently struck the US Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) unfolded differently. The hackers required from the PGA a payment in Bitcoin to decrypt blocked files. Although they contained valuable marketing materials, the association declined the demand, according to sports media outlet Golfweek.