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US: Internet shut after ransomware attack hits Baltimore city; hackers demand 76,280 USD

A note found in one of the computers read, "We won't talk more, all we know is money! Hurry up!"

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Published on: May 26, 2019 13:11 IST
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Image Source : PTI

Ransomware attack hits Baltimore city

All online payment gateways and emails have come to a standstill in the US city of Baltimore following a ransomware attack. The hackers are demanding $76,280 in exchange for freeing all the systems of the city. 

Known as the 'EternalBlue', the tool is a creation of the National Security Agency and has crippled the city. 

According to some reports, the tool has also been used in other high-profile cyber attacks including "Wannacry" in May 2017. 

Hackers used 'EternalBlue' to exploit a vulnerability in some versions of Windows XP and Vista systems, security experts suggest, adding the tool allows an external party to execute remote commands on their target. 

Also Read | Indian national arrested for transporting illegal immigrants from Canada to US

A ransom note, which was recovered from a computer from Baltimore city identified the ransomware as RobbinHood and demanded a payment of three Bitcoins (equivalent to $17,600 at current prices) per system, or 13 Bitcoins (worth $76,280) to re-store the entire city's systems.

"We won't talk more, all we know is money! Hurry up!" the note read.

Earlier in April 2017, hacking group The ShadowBrokers had leaked the tool and Microsoft had released a patch to fix the exploit within a day. 

However, just patching a system does not mean a total closure of vulnerabilities.

Baltimore residents have been dealing with the cyber attack since May 7. All of their systems are shut, hindering bill payments and day-to-day expenditures.

Meanwhile, the city officials have said that they would not pay the ransom demand. The IT department is trying to overcome the situation.

The city has begun to implement some workarounds, manually processing real estate transactions and setting up a Gmail system for city workers which Google initially shut down but has since restored, the report added. 

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