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The 11 Biggest Ransomware Attacks Of 2020 (So Far)

Municipal governments, universities and private businesses have spent more than $144 million responding to the biggest ransomware attacks of 2020 (so far), spending on everything from rebuilding networks and restoring backups to paying the hackers ransom.

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11. San Miguel County, N.M.

Recovery And Mitigation Costs: $250,000

A late-January ransomware attack infected one of San Miguel County’s servers, prompting the county to bring in outside lawyers and IT experts to negotiate a ransom with the hackers, County Attorney Dave Romero told the Las Vegas (N.M.) Optic on Feb. 6. The county wasn’t clear what information had been exposed during the attack, and was in the process of verifying that other servers hadn’t been hit as well.

The ransomware attack ultimately locked San Miguel County out of 10 computers and compromised its backup system, but the county was able to get its computers up and running quickly because it had purchased cyber insurance, Taylor Horst, risk management director of the New Mexico Association of Counties, told the Albuquerque Journal in March.

The forensics firm brought in through the association’s commercial cyber liability insurance policy was able to negotiate a ransom of 24 bitcoins, worth about $250,000, down from the initial demand of 43 bitcoins, Horst said. The county also changed all its passwords, and contacted banks, creditors and phone companies to make them aware of the situation, according to Romero.

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