Tags: dickson county | sheriff | malware

Dickson County Sheriff: Malware Stole Office Files; Cost Us $500 Ransom

By    |   Thursday, 13 Nov 2014 03:04 PM

A Dickson County, Tennessee, sheriff's office paid ransom to hackers this week after malware accidentally installed on the agency's computers blocked access to law enforcement files.

Apparently, someone in the office was streaming a radio station and accidentally clicked on an ad that put the malware, called "Cryptowall," in the Dickson County Sheriff’s Office computer system, News5 reported.

"Every sort of document that you could develop in an investigation was in that folder. There was a total of 72,000 files," Detective Jeff McCliss told News5 Tuesday. He is the information technology director for the agency.

And while the officers would have preferred to catch the criminals instead of paying them off, consultations with the FBI, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and the military determined that the only way to get the files back from Cryptowall was to pay up, McCliss told News5.

The payment was made in bitcoins, the Internet currency, worth about $500.

"Is it better to take a stand and lose all that information? Or make the payment grit your teeth and just do it?" McCliss told News5. "It made me sick to have to do that."

According to Symantec's website, Crytowall is a threat primarily in the United States and Canada, although cases have occurred in other parts of the world.

"The threat typically arrives on the affected computer through spam emails, exploit kits hosted through malicious ads or compromised sites, or other malware," Symantec said.

KHNO reported Thursday that small businesses in Hawaii were also being hit by the malware, and other news reports from around the world came in as well.

In October, The Register reported that security watchers online had indicated a surge in Cryptowall malware incidences, and urged computer users to beware.

The site reported that more than 830,000 victims worldwide have fallen victim to the malware, which marked a 25-percent increase since the end of August, when 625,000 victims were reported.

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A Dickson County, Tennessee, sheriff's office paid ransom to hackers this week after malware accidentally installed on the agency's computers blocked access to law enforcement files.
dickson county, sheriff, malware
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2014-04-13
Thursday, 13 Nov 2014 03:04 PM
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