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Riviera Beach agrees to pay $600K ransom to get computer system back online

Posted at 5:45 AM, Jun 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-20 13:42:31-04

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — Riviera Beach city leaders agreed earlier this week to pay a ransom to help get the city’s computer system back online.

At a special council meeting on Monday night, the council voted unanimously to authorize the city’s insurance carrier to pay a 65 Bitcoin ransom to recover the city’s data which has been encrypted.

City leaders say paying the ransom, which equates to about $600,000, will hopefully return the computer system to be fully operational.

In May, the city reported what it called a systemwide cyber intrusion that took down the computer system, saying “someone clicked on an email.”

This ransom payment comes weeks after the city agreed to spend almost $1 million to fix and replace compromised computer equipment.

Law enforcement is investigating this cyber hack.

The city’s interim IT director says many systems are back up and running, including email, the city website, finance systems, pump station management and others.

He says they are getting ready to restore the data they do have and also made some changes to email. Email addresses will now have a extension, and police and fire will have a extension.

On Monday night, the city also introduced a new IT director.