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Hackers encrypted the entire City of Detroit DataBase and demanded ransom of 2000 bitcoins ($803,500)
During a speech for the North American International Cyber Summit being held at Michigan, Detroit , the Mayor of Detroit, Mike Duggan made a startling revelation. He said that the entire city database was attacked by hackers and held hostage. The attackers demanded a ransom of 2,000 bitcoins, an encrypted digital currency to decrypt the same. A bitcoin is currently worth $401.75, making that ransom worth $803,500 worth of moolah the hackers wanted in return for decrypting the files. However Duggan said the ransom was not paid because the database wasn’t used or needed by the city.
It was a good warning sign for us,” he said at Michigan’s third summit focusing on cyber security issues in government, business and other sectors at the North American International Cyber Summit at Cobo Center. However Mayor Duggan didnt specify as to how the hackers got into the Detroit city database in the first place. Was it a hack attack or was it a work of a Ransomware? These questions remained unanswered.
Other Detroit News
He also remembered how an individual involved in the historic filing of bankruptcy by the administration of Detroit, was the victim of a cyber attack that involved threatening emails and a “significant” amount of money taken from a personal checking account. “The timing was such that he certainly thought it was a political agenda,” the Mayor said. The attack was one of several examples Duggan gave of the city’s lack of updated technology and security. “It was pretty disturbing what I found,” said Duggan, who began his four-year term as mayor Jan. 1. “I found the Microsoft Office system we had was about 10 years old and couldn’t sync the calendar to my phone.” The city is in the process of improving security and updating technologies, including recently switching to a faster email system, said the Mayor who is also former CEO of the Detroit Medical Center. “We’re in the early stages of ramping up,” he said. “The stakes in play in the state and in the country are enormous.”
Other featured speakers at the summit include Governor Rick Snyder, former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, military leaders and private-sector analysts. Experts from across the country will also talk about trends and best practices in cyber security. Snyder in his keynote speech Monday said an increasingly connected world leaves the private sector vulnerable to cyber attacks. “Twenty years from now, your car is going to be driving itself,” he said. “The vehicle will be talking to other vehicles, making decisions on when to stop and when to brake.” A hacker could gain access to that system and control a vehicle from the outside, Snyder said. “The risks we have today are only going to dramatically increase,” he said.
Snyder also said he thinks businesses and nonprofit groups are more vulnerable to an attack than the government. “The easiest way to disrupt our world is to go through the private sector,” he said. Snyder stressed civilian involvement to combat this risk. “We need to get everyone involved, not just the government,” he said. “It’s the private sector, the individuals all learning more about cyber security.”
Michigan Cyber Initiative 2015
In his speech, Snyder unveiled the Michigan Cyber Initiative 2015, outlining steps needed to protect the state from growing threats of cyber attacks. The group first was announced last year at the cyber summit. “I’m glad to say within the next few months, we’ll have a dozen teams,” Snyder said. Snyder compared the corps to the Army National Guard. “It makes sense to use a model that we’ve used for 200-plus years in this country,” he said. “It’s the citizen cyber solider concept.”
Snyder also highlighted the Cyber Command Center with the Michigan State Police, designed to coordinate state efforts to monitor cyber threats. “Just like we have a Michigan intelligence operation for physical crimes, now we’ve done that for cyber crimes,” he said. “It’s just a ‘when’ question,” he said. “That’s the point of us being prepared and that’s why I’m so proud to say Michigan is a leader in being prepared.”