Knoxville Pays For Hack But Not The Hackers

A Costly Repair

Wednesday morning, the city of Knoxville, TN released invoices showing $217,000 paid for a ransomware attack. The city was hit in June of 2020, and the hackers asked for 42.5 Bitcoin. At the time, that was worth nearly $400,00 (as of publishing that would now be worth about $1.6 million).

The city didn’t pay the hackers, however. Instead those funds were redirected to recovery experts, lawyers, problem solving management, and protection services to contain the invasion. While representatives for the city say there may be more expenses, so far they’ve saved money.

Cleaning Up The Aftermath

It’s important that Knoxville didn’t pay the ransom. Since it’s increasingly difficult to identify the people behind ransomware attacks, it’s also difficult to prosecute them and recover the monies paid. Because of this, ransomware is attractive to criminals.

Paying the ransom also doesn’t guarantee you’ll receive your data or that it will be protected from public release. By refusing to pay, it takes away the incentive for the criminals. While this can be devastating for any entity, cleaning up afterwards is always the better choice.

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7 thoughts on “Knoxville Pays For Hack But Not The Hackers”

  1. I’ve had PC Magic for years and had no more Hack. Had one computer Hacked replace hard drive. After PC Magic I’ve had no Hacks for years.

  2. I agree with Dave Kiser. Why not make Bitcoin unlawful? That would cut out the lawbreakers and the hackers getting away Scott free!

  3. I am just an old great granny and wanted PC Matic to protect me over the virus protection company that always comes with a new computer I buy. Having worked for 14 years as a self-employed worker taking calls for items advertised on television, I worked the last 12 years with them as an auditor. Wondering about the bitcoin use, not really “informed citizen” on it’s value but have read through emails from others, that our financial future rulers would like to do away with the bank accounts and money we use today. Don’t know the truth about this one way or the other.

  4. Other than to allow the perfect, untraceable crime, I can’t figure out why the US government doesn’t make it a priority to make bitcoin illegal so that ransomware has no way of holding companies ransom for bitcoin. The technology isn’t just to have the convenience of secure digital money without lugging gold or cash around, it is designed to be anonymous and untraceable. Cryptocurrency is a tool that aids criminal activity more than it benefits society.

  5. Oops. Dec 5th. We lots all our data, programs, and don’t know if any historical records or court/evidence files will be recovered.

  6. My police department and several adjoining ones, includng city and county offices were hacked and it wiped us out. 1500 computers sharing a server. We can’t afford to pay the ransom even if we wanted to. That happened 5th. We have a long road to recovery.

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