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11:15 AM

Lake City Employee Fired Following Ransom Payment

The Florida city approved its insurer to pay $460,000 in ransom for a cyberattack that shut down servers, email, and phone.

The director of information technology for Lake City, Fla., has been fired in the aftermath of a massive cyberattack that shut down its phones, servers, and email capabilities. Lake City recently agreed to pay 42 Bitcoin ($460,000) through its insurer, the Florida League of Cities.

About three weeks have passed since Lake City systems were hit with ransomware. Following the attack, city networks were taken offline and recovery efforts began with participation from a third-party security vendor, the Florida League of Cities, and Lake City's IT staff. Attempts to bring systems back online yielded no results; last week, the city's insurer received a ransom request for the decryption key.

The Florida League of Cities negotiated with attackers and paid the ransom, a decision approved by Lake City's Emergency Council. The city is responsible for the $10,000 deductible to the insurer. Lake City officials report its IT director and security vendor advised a more cost-approach to retrieve the key.

Lake City mayor Stephen Witt says city manager Joe Helfenberg made the decision to terminate an employee. Helfenberg is revamping its entire IT department to overcome the incident and set up a system to ensure it doesn't happen again. He also reports the decryption key has been working and the city has been consulting security experts to get back online within the coming days.

Read more details here.


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User Rank: Ninja
7/2/2019 | 12:50:31 PM
Firing the person that has history, not sure if this was a good move
One thing about hacks and attempts, they often come from the inside. This person that they let go now has motive to get back at the organization as long with the Ransomware control/command group. It is going to be interesting how this works out.

One question I have, will they be fined by GDPR and will this be reported. The last few days I have read about Ransomware attacks and organizations being attacked. There was a report submitted by DarkReading that state the report for 2019 took a deep drop in Ransomeware findings. I think the report has not been completed and thus the low number is indicative of lack of information, only time will tell what happens to this endeavor and will the US start pushing those sanctions and penalities like other countries are doing (Facebook, Google and Microsoft).

Other situations where individuals should be fired from the Ransomware attacks are as follows:
  • https://digitalguardian.com/blog/history-ransomware-attacks-biggest-and-worst-ransomware-attacks-all-time
  • https://www.wired.com/story/atlanta-spent-26m-recover-from-ransomware-scare/ (Atlanta Attack)
  • https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2019/06/12/baltimore-ransomware-attack-inches-closer-to-normal/
  • https://gizmodo.com/florida-city-fires-it-employee-after-paying-460-000-in-1836031022

Only time will tell.

<<   <   Page 2 / 2
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