Security News

The 11 Biggest Ransomware Attacks Of 2020 (So Far)

Michael Novinson

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.

10. Florence, Ala.

Recovery And Mitigation Costs: $291,000

A Windows 10 system in the IT environment of Florence, Ala. was commandeered by a ransomware gang, with hackers gaining a foothold in the city’s network on May 6 with the username for the city’s manager of information systems, according to KrebsOnSecurity. Then in early June, a cyberattack by ransomware gang DoppelPaymer shut down the city’s email system, Florence Mayor Steve Holt said.

DoppelPaymer appears to have simultaneously compromised networks belonging to four other victims within an hour of Florence, including another municipality, Holt told KrebsOnSecurity. DoppelPaymer initially demanded $378,000 in Bitcoin, Holt said, but an outside security firm hired by the city was able to negotiate the price down to $291,000 in Bitcoin.

Holt told KrebsOnSecurity that Florence couldn’t afford to see its citizens’ personal and financial data jeopardized by not paying. The Florence City Council unanimously approved the ransom payment at an emergency meeting on June 10, saying they did so to preserve information about city workers and customers, according to The TimesDaily.

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