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Ransomware takes millions, baffles law enforcement

22
Feb
2016
Ransomware takes millions, baffles law enforcement

Hollywood-Presbyterian-Medical-Center-Ransomware_c

A California hospital this week paid a $17,000 ransom to free its computers from a hacker’s virus, thrusting a little-known but wildly lucrative cyber scheme into the limelight. Cyber criminals have extorted hundreds of millions from victims using these attacks, yet the technique has baffled law enforcement and received little attention on Capitol Hill.

On Wednesday, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center announced that it had paid hackers a ransom in bitcoin — an anonymous digital currency — to regain access to their locked systems. For almost a week, the hospital was thrown into the dark ages, relying on paper charts and fax machines to care for its patients.

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