Police in Massachusetts have admitted to recently being infected by encryption ransomware CryptoLocker and paying the ransom in bitcoins.
Though it seems that the rest of the Massacusetts police systems are safe from the malware, the police department of Swansea fell victim to the infection and went as far as paying the ransom. CryptoLocker, which emerged only earlier this year, encrypts files on an infected hard disk and demands payment in order for the data to be released.
When the Swansea police department was first effected earlier in Novemebr, local computer technicians urged officers not to pay up the ransomware’s steep fee. The police department did in fact purchase two Bitcoins for $750 to meet CryptoLocker’s demands, and paid for their files to be unencrypted. Owing to the nature of CryptoLocker’s infection, information on the police system was never truly compromised, but the experience has been a nasty one nevertheless. Police Lt. Gregory Ryan called the experience “an education” for those who were forced to deal with it, adding that it did not affect the software used to file reports.
CryptoLocker has spread like wildfire across the internet since it surface around September of this year. Anyone using a Microsoft computer is urged not to open suspicious email attachments and, if possible, keep a backup of all important files on the hard disk. Any computer which is infected with the ransomware should be immediately disconnected from any networks.