The hackers revealed the computer system of the Leominster Public Schools district in Massachusetts, closing it On April 14. According to the chief of the school district Paula Deacon, a lock was set on the computer system and a ransom was queried. In the meantime, the cyber hijackers demanded that the ransom had to be paid in Bitcoin.
During the negotiations between the school district and hackers, the decryption keys were given to open some of the blocked files for a demonstration. The mayor of Leominster Dean Mazzarella, commenting the occasion, claimed that those responsible were “smart”. He also said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was following the matter. As the mayor declared, the payment of the $ 10,000 ransom would be taken from the general fund of the city.
They were on top of their game. They are using the best and highest technology. They were just looking for an opening and the system was hacked one way or another.
The head of the Leominster temporary police Michael Goldman claimed the crime is impossible to track down. He supposed that the hackers were abroad (probably in Europe). So, there is very little that the police department is able to do. Goldman also said he recommended to pay the ransom. The ransomware attack does not represent a theft of any data. The school district files were locked, as was the school’s e-mail system, but no data was really extracted.
This case is the latest in a series of cyber-attacks towarding cryptocurrency that are becoming more and more popular. In January 2018, Hancock Health in Indiana was kicked by a ransomware attack. Finally the hospital was compelled to pay $ 55,000 worth of Bitcoins to hackers.