The City of Spring Hill has announced on an official note that their servers were hit by ransomware severely impacting their email and payments systems. And as a result of this attack, the authorities of the said government agency are unable to send and receive emails, and the digital payments made for utility services, business licenses, court fees are being halted.
The council has specified in the media update that customer account info and city information is safe and not compromised.
For time being, residents who are in need to make payments for utilities are requested to do so in cash, cheque or money order dropped into the depository located in front of the City Hall.
Hackers are said to have attacked the systems of the City Spring Hill on Friday night when an employee accidentally clicked an email which is suspected to be a phishing email.
Jamie Page, a spokesperson for City Spring Hill said that hackers are demanding $250,000 in exchange for the decryption key to unlock the systems.
And authorities have decided not to bow to the hackers and instead rebuild everything from the scratch.
A source reporting to Cybersecurity Insiders on condition of anonymity said that the City of Spring Hill does have a data backup and so a data rebuild is expected to do by this month end.
NOTE- Companies offering Cybersecurity solutions are advising Ransomware hit victims not to pay the ransom demanded by hackers. The reason, there is no guarantee that the hackers will return the decryption key and will not demand more for the exchange.
For companies, public or private, the best way to deal with the situation is to have backup servers on a separate note which can automatically be triggered as a data continuity plan.