Government offices in the US city of Baltimore have been breached by hackers who are demanding $100,000 in bitcoin as ransom.
According to the BBC, the hackers have disabled all government email addresses and prevented authorities from accepting any payments.
City officials in Baltimore have refused to pay the ransom. The FBI and Secret Service are currently working on the case to determine who is behind the attacks.
This is not the first time that Baltimore has been hit by cybersecurity attacks. Last year, hackers were able to disable first responders’ dispatch systems for almost twenty-four hours.
No late fees
On this occasion, the attack has meant Baltimore residents have been unable to pay water bills, local taxes, and parking fines. Baltimore city officials said that people would not be charged for any late payments.
The hack has also prevented approximately 1,500 home sales from going through as insurers were unable to confirm whether buyers had any unpaid liens.
On top of that, it is thought that 10,000 government computers are out of action, with the hackers having blocked access to them.
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In a statement, Baltimore’s mayor acknowledged the hack and said the government’s cybersecurity teams were working on getting things up and running again.
“I know the folks in the technology office are working diligently to bring us back on board,” said Mayor Bernard Young’s spokesman, Lester Davis.
It is unclear when exactly authorities will be able to get their services back.
In the meantime, the hackers are continuing to demand that they get paid in bitcoin.
“We’ve watched you for days and we’ve worked on your systems to gain full access to your company and bypass all of your protections,” the hackers wrote. “We won’t talk more, all we know is MONEY!”