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The 10 Biggest Ransomware Attacks of 2019

Multinational manufacturers and U.S. city and county governments spent more $176 million responding to the biggest ransomware attacks of 2019, spending on everything from rebuilding networks and restoring backups to paying the hackers ransom.

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8. Lake City, Fla.

Recovery And Mitigation Costs: $460,000

A “Triple Threat” Ryuk ransomware attack in June disabled Lake City’s servers and phones, prompting city leaders to unanimously agree to pay hackers $460,000 in bitcoin to unlock the encrypted files. All but $10,000 of that amount would be picked up by the city’s cyberinsurance provider, and city manager Joe Helfenberg expected the city to make a full recovery in two weeks.

The ransomware affected everything but Lake City’s police and fire departments, which were on a separate server, and the city had run into trouble attempting to recover backup files that were deleted during the incident. A prolonged recovery from backups would have exceeded the city’s $1 million cyberinsurance coverage limit, and the city wanted to resume normal services expeditiously.

The initial ransom demand had been for $700,000 in bitcoin, but negotiations with incident response firm Covewave managed the knock the payout down by some $240,000. Lake City might have been able to achieve a majority recovery of its files without paying the ransom, according to a city spokesman, but it would have cost “three times as much money trying to get there.”

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