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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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6. Riviera Beach, Fla.

Recovery And Mitigation Costs: $1.5 million

A ransomware attack against Riviera Beach, Fla., began on May 29 after a police department employee opened an infected email attachment, knocking out the city’s online systems, email, phones and water utility pump stations. The city was only able to accept utility payments in person or by snail mail, but by the following week had restored the city’s website and created new email addresses for all employees.

The city on June 4 authorized spending more than $900,000 to buy new computer hardware, moving up purchases that had been planned for the following year. About a third of the cost associated with investing in 310 desktops and 90 laptops is expected to be borne by the city’s cyberinsurance company, according to Cybersecurity Insiders.

Then in mid-June, the city council unanimously agreed during an emergency meeting to have Riviera Beach’s insurance carriers pay the hackers roughly $592,000 in bitcoin in hopes to regaining access to data that had been encrypted in the cyberattack three weeks earlier. Although paying the ransom is not advised by law enforcement, city officials concluded there was no other way to recover the files.

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