Ransomware attacks prompt tough question for local officials: To pay or not to pay?

WASHINGTON — When cybercriminals struck Lake City, Fla., last June, city officials had to make a tough choice: Pay the hackers or restore systems on their own.A ransomware attack had hijacked the government’s computer network and held it hostage for several weeks. While the attack didn’t affect the police, fire or financial departments, it wreaked havoc on phone lines, email, utility records and many other services.The hackers first demanded about $750,000 in bitcoin, a cryptocurrency, from the small, rural city to give it back control of its network.The city tried to recover the data on its o…

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