RadioOnFire.com – Nearly all Baltimore City employees should be back online by week’s end, city officials say.
WBAL-TV 11 reports that at a press conference held Tuesday morning by Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, Financial Director Henry Raymond pegged the cost of the ransomware attack thus far at $18 million.
The hackers demanded $80,000 in initial ransom, but that figure rose to six figures with the price of Bitcoin. However, the FBI recommends against paying hackers, saying doing so rewards and incentivizes cyber crime and can fund other illicit activity, with no guarantee victims will get back all their data or that hackers remove all traces of malware. Young considered paying the ransom, but decided not to.
As of Tuesday, 35% of city employees were reconnected with new passwords, a number that is expected to get up to 90% by the end of the week.
In the meantime, no customers are getting water bills. Public works officials said customers can either mail in a payment in the amount they’re used to getting billed or simply wait until bills are sent out. Late fees will not be applied.