Rockport, Maine, Hit with Ransomware Attack — but Recovers without Paying

A hacker locked town officials out of all computer systems last Friday, encrypting data and demanding $1,000 in cryptocurrency.

by Lauren Abbate, Bangor Daily News / April 20, 2018
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(TNS) — Computers at the Rockport Town Office are back up and running after a hackers’ virus invaded its computer servers Friday, encrypting the office’s data and demanding ransom payment.

No data were stolen from the servers, according to Rockport Town Manager Rick Bates. The town’s IT specialist was able to rebuild the system and retrieve the majority of data that had been encrypted.

Town employees noticed Friday afternoon that they were being locked out of files in the office’s system. The IT specialist was then called to shut down the office’s computer servers.

Bates said the IT specialist worked throughout the night Friday and for the majority of the long weekend to rebuild the system and retrieve all but a day’s worth of data. The town office has handwritten copies of the lost data, which will need to be re-entered into the system.

The ransom request amounted to about $1,000, Bates said. The ransom requested that payment be made in Bitcoin, a digital currency. Bates said they were going to pay the ransom to regain access to the encrypted files, but the IT specialist was able to rebuild the system, so that did not happen.

After contacting the company that provides Internet security for the town office, Bates said he was told similar viruses encrypting files and demanding ransom had been reported across the country.

©2018 the Bangor Daily News (Bangor, Maine) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.