School District Forced to Pay $10,000 in Bitcoin Ransomware Attack

The Leominster Public Schools District has become the latest victim of a Bitcoin ransomware cyberattack. The school district was forced to pay $10,000 in Bitcoin to unlock their system.

Details of the Cyberattack

On April 14th, suspected hackers took over the computer system of the Leominster Public Schools District in Massachusetts, shutting it down. According to Paula Deacon, the superintendent of the school district, a lock was placed on the computer system and a ransom was demanded. Meanwhile, the cyber hijackers stipulated that the ransom should be paid in Bitcoin, the popular cryptocurrency.

As part of the negotiations between the school district and the hackers, decryption keys were sent to unlock some of the locked files as a show of proof. Commenting on the issue, Dean Mazzarella, the mayor of Leominster, said that the perpetrators were “smart.” He also said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was tracking the matter. According to the mayor, the $10,000 ransom payment will be taken from the city’s general fund. Mazzarella also added:

They were on top of their game. They are using the best and highest technology. They were just looking for an opening and the system was hacked somehow or another.

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