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Hackers demand nearly $400k in ransom for release of encrypted City of Knoxville data

Hackers who used a ransomware infection to encrypt internal data from the City of Knoxville’s servers have demanded nearly $400,000 to release the information, according to a statement from a city spokesperson.
Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 1:44 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Hackers who used a ransomware infection to encrypt internal data from the City of Knoxville’s servers have demanded nearly $400,000 to release the information, according to a statement from a city spokesperson.

The initial ransom demand was 42.5 bitcoin. This is approximately $393,137 in U.S. currency based on market values at the time of the event.

The City of Knoxville is aware that the threat actor recently began publishing certain data acquired from the City’s computer systems as a result of the recent malware attack. The data is being published on a site created by the threat actor to shame victims who choose not to pay the ransom and as additional leverage to seek payment of the ransom.

We are working diligently, with the assistance of our third-party computer forensic specialists, to review the data published by the threat actor and to confirm the full extent of data that is impacted.

City of Knoxville Spokesperson

Internal data was released online by the hackers to put pressure on the city to pay the ransom, but city officials have not indicated they have any intention of paying.

Instead, a third-party specialist is working to de-encrypt the stolen information.

No timeline on when the issue might be resolved has been determined.

Copyright 2020 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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