The Sacramento Bee reported that two of its databases, both on a third-party server, were hit with a ransomware attack in January 2017. A Bee employee discovered the attack last week following a tip from a reporter with a different organization, the publication reports.
One affected database contained California voter registration data from the California Secretary of State and was obtained for reporting purposes. Another, a subscriber database, contained contact data for 53,000 current and former Bee subscribers who activated digital accounts before 2017. The Bee is informing those whose names, addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers were compromised.
Publisher Gary Wortel reports neither database contained credit card numbers, bank account data, or Social Security numbers. The voter registration data had been previously exposed online, and the same database had been shared with organizations that had been subject to attack.
An anonymous attacker demanded a Bitcoin ransom in exchange for the data. The Bee chose not to pay and has deleted both databases to prevent further attacks.
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