September 7, 2018 4:18 pm

Town of Midland set to pay ransom to unlock systems encrypted in cyberattack

The town’s network was illegally accessed and infected by ransomware on Sept. 1.

Town of Midland / Facebook
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The town of Midland has decided it will pay the ransom demanded by cybercriminals in order to unlock their systems which were encrypted in a cyberattack last week.

The town’s network was illegally accessed and infected by ransomware on Sept. 1, when cybercriminals used malware to encrypt several town systems, rendering them unusable.

Luckily, the town says vital services such as fire, water and waste-management services were not impacted as a result of the attack.

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READ MORE: Town of Midland network breached in cyberattack: officials

In an update provided by the town on Thursday, officials say while “significant progress” has been made to unlock the system, the town has begun the process of paying the ransom.

“Under the guidance of cybersecurity experts, we have initiated the process to pay the ransom in exchange for the decryption keys,” the release reads. “Although it is not ideal, it is in our best interest to bring the system back online as quickly as possible.”

A spokesperson for the town was unable to provide Global News with the amount the cybercriminals have demanded in exchange for the encryption keys, however, they were able to confirm the ransom has been requested in bitcoin.

READ MORE: Wasaga Beach pays cyber criminals thousands to regain access to town servers: staff report

According to the release, the town had previously purchased an insurance policy in order to cover circumstances like these.

This news comes just a few months after the municipality of Wasaga Beach paid nearly $35,000 to cybercriminals to unlock their servers which had been locked in a similar cyberattack.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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