When a University Pays Ransom
Imagine your papers and grades being encrypted and your college unable to share them with you after you spend a year studying. Just because some hackers used a malware encrypted all the important files on the University’s server! And demanding a ransom to decrypt them. What does the University do? Yes. Pay the ransom and get the files back.
That is just what the University of Calgary to get back their emails and files by paying certain hackers bitcoins equivalent to 20,000 Canadian dollars. The local newspaper reports that over 100 of the University’s computers have been infected after an attack in May. Though the University has got the decryption keys by paying the ransom amount, it is still deciphering and checking the them according to its vice president Linda Dalgetty.
Also there is the process itself that requires decrypting hundreds or thousands of files which will take a long time as the keys they got do not unlock all systems and assure instant recovery of any or all data.
This article is an eye opener to all those who take security very lightly and leave the doors open to hackers to walk in and take away your data. Well the University is not alone in bending backward to these criminals. In February, a Medical Center paid $17,000 to unlock their data as did the Melrose Police Department in Massachusetts.
Well how can an institution that trains others to be wise be so foolish to not take a backup of their data. Well that may not be the true reason then why the University paid the ransom.
It is believed that in most ransomware cases, the hackers blackmail the victim to publish the data online and maybe that is something that could affect the reputation of the University permanently is worth every Canadian dollar of ransom paid.