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Baltimore rebounding from ransomware attack

Posted at 5:35 PM, Jun 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-05 09:06:13-04

BALTIMORE — Baltimore city officials are working to complete the investigation and recover from the ransomware attack that took over the city's computers.

They are hoping to have the forensic review wrapped up in the next month. The majority of the city's 10,000 employees should have access to their computers and email accounts by the end of the week.

The housing inspections and permitting process is working, and residents can pay traffic citations dating back to May 4.

Members of Maryland's congressional delegation also received an update on the attack from the National Security Agency, whose software was reportedly used by the hackers.

According to lawmakers, evidence suggests the city's network was infected via a phishing effort by malware known as Robbinhood. They are urging against further speculation until the investigation is complete.

The ransom was set at $80,000 in bitcoin, but the finance department estimates the attack will end up costing the city $18 million.

"The federal investigators have advised us not to pay the ransom," said Sheryl Goldstein, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. " The data shows you have less than a 50-50 chance of getting your data back if you pay the ransom, and, even if you pay the ransom, you still have to go within your system and make sure they're out of it. You couldn't just bring it back up and believe they were gone, and so we would be bearing much of these costs regardless."