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Scary ransomware attacks famous North Carolina county

Photo-illustration.

(REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski )

A major ransomware attacks has forced the closure of a host of IT systems in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

Officials confirmed late Wednesday that they do not pay the ransom to unlock many of the county ‘ s applications, which have been frozen since Monday.

“I am convinced that our back-up data is secured, and we have the resources to fix this situation ourselves,” said County Manager Dena Diorio, in a statement. “It will take time, but with patience and hard work, all our systems back up and running as quickly as possible.”

Attackers gave a deadline of 1 p.m. ET Wednesday for the payment of the ransom, according to news reports.

SHIPPING GIANT HIT BY A CYBER ATTACK, REFUSES TO PAY HACKERS’ RANSOM

The hackers have asked for the payments in bitcoin. A bitcoin is worth approximately $13,000.

County Manager @DenaDiorio announces that the Province will not pay ransomware criminals $23,000 to unlock many of the County ‘ s applications, which have been frozen since Monday. https://t.co/QVnUeok032 pic.twitter.com/ESmCC7ctlJ

— Mecklenburg County (@MeckCounty) December 6, 2017

Fox 46 reports that hackers froze a number of servers in the attack, the prevention of county-registrar of access to the information stored on them.

Systems affected by the shutdown span human resources, finance, parks and recreation, social services, certificates of registration, assessor in the office of the inland revenue and the land use and Environmental Services Agency (LUESA).

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the province stated that the different departments have implemented processes on paper and other solutions to continue serving its customers.

HACKER GOALS SACRAMENTO REGIONAL TRANSIT, REMOVES 30 MILLION FILES IN RANSOMWARE ATTACKS

“There is no evidence at this time that the personal, customer or employee information or data is compromised,” he said. “The Province is consulting with the Federal, state and private parties, including the FBI and the Secret Service, while the Province works to restore services,” it added.

Fox 46 reports that the province makes a backup of all files, so that the information is frozen by the attack will eventually be picked up. “At this point in time, backups seem to be very effective,” said a Mecklenburg County official Wednesday during the press conference.

The assault allegedly unfolded after an employee of Mecklenburg County clicked on an infected e-mail.

HUGE ‘PETYA’ RANSOMWARE ATTACK HITS EUROPE, SPARKING MASSIVE DISRUPTION

A growing number of organizations and municipalities have been targeted in ransomware attacks. United kingdom uk giant Clarkson, for example, was recently the victim of a cyber attack, but promised not to pay a ransom to the hackers.

A hacker recently deleted 30 million files in a ransomware attack on Sacramento Regional Transportation. The hacker demanded $7,000 in bitcoins using SacRT’s Facebook page, which the agency does not pay, instead choose to back-up the data.

Last year, a Los Angeles hospital paid a ransom of nearly $17,000 in bitcoins to hackers who infiltrated and disabled its computer network.

Uber recently came under fire for his reported payment of $100,000 for hackers.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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