The city of Braham is dealing with the tail end of a ransomware attack that occurred last month.
Ransomware is a type of malware that can infect computer systems and threaten to publish personal data or block access until a ransom is paid.
According to city officials, the system was compromised in the early morning hours on June 8th and infected eight computers, and removed all the data from three of them as well as the server.
City officials claimed the attack came through a domain administrator account and not through any opened emails or attachments.
After discovering the ransom, City Hall went to work and was assigned a legal and negotiation team who were able to communicate with the threat actors and verify proof of life for the system.
Braham agreed to pay $17,742 in cryptocurrency to a group stationed out of Russia, with the ransom having been talked down from $25,000 per computer infected. After adding the cost of the response team, report of findings, and forensic analysis. The total reached $46,973.
Data was received back ten days later but some of the operating systems and background functions had been damaged and three of the computers will have to be rebuilt to restore their data.
The city is covered under the League of Minnesota Cities and will only have to pay a $1000 deductible to be covered for the losses.
While the situation has been taken care of, City Administrator Angela Grafstrom stated that the city is still dealing with setbacks including being locked out of certain state access even with a new IP address.
With 80% of businesses having been hit by ransomware attacks are hit again, Braham has retained technical support from Arete Cybersecurity to help protect both city hall and the city's liquor store at a cost of $1,344 per year.
Since Braham did pay the ransom, a report was filed with the FBI which considers the incident to be a terrorist attack.