IT Director Baltimore apologizes for reaction to ransomware


Frank Johnson, senior IT-specialist Baltimore information technology has brought his “sincere apologies” to the members of the city Council on Friday during a public meeting at which it was noted that the residents and the heads of city services were not provided promptly information about the hacker attack, the newspaper reports the Baltimore Sun.

Computer servers suffered from ransomware attacks on 7 may. Officials quickly cut off most of the servers, but services such as online payments and email, were affected.

Councilman Zeke Cohen told Johnson that the lack of timely information and details of attacks have caused some of his voters “a huge disturbance”.

Refusing to pay hackers for a month halt work

As you know, the city authorities refused to pay $76 000 in Bitcoins, as required by hackers that performed the attack, which used virus-extortionist called RobbinHood.

The city began to look for workarounds for handling the most important transaction related to real estate and transfers, while the IT Department worked to restore urban systems and improving their security in the future. This work took almost a month and the city had in this period to work in manual mode.

Hackers managed to find a vulnerability in some versions of Microsoft Windows XP, and apply a previously virus EternalBlue, although at the time when a similar situation in 2017, the company has already released a patch to resolve the vulnerability. But, apparently, not all users have updated their operating systems, and able to take advantage of the hackers, using a new variation of this virus in Baltimore.

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