Hackers hijack computers and demand $51,000 worth of Bitcoin

Hackers have shut down computers used by the Atlanta Government in crucial systems.

The hack is preventing the city from accessing courthouse information or processing payments in a bold ransomware attack.

The attack was announced by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms during a press conference Thursday afternoon.

Bottoms said that officials are investigating the issue but “don’t know the extent of the attack.”

The mayor also advised any consumers or businesses who have transacted with the city they may potentially be at risk.

Mayor Bottoms said in a statement to the press:

“We don’t know the extent or if anyone’s personal data or bank accounts will be compromised.

“All of us are subject to this attack.”

The city has yet to give any updates at the time of press.

The city has yet to give any updates at the time of press.

Atlanta COO, Richard Cox noted that public safety, water, and airport operations are not affected by the hack.

The FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security are assisting city officials with their investigation.

According to reports, Microsoft has been drafted into to help determine the extent of the breach and offer a possible resolution.

Hackers Shut Down Atlanta Government Computers, Demand Bitcoin
A screenshot shows a WannaCry ransomware demand from a May 2017 attack.

The hackers have demanded 6 BTC to reverse their encryption, says local TV station WXIA.

At current values, six Bitcoin is worth around $51,000, according to the Coin Thud live price charts.

The attack was discovered at around 5 a.m. Thursday morning, local time.

The local government put up a notice shortly after explaining that it was “currently experiencing outages on various internal and customer-facing applications, including some applications that customers use to pay bills or access court-related information.”

Atlanta isn’t the first city to fall victim to ransomware hackers.

In December, county officials in Charlotte, North Carolina, were faced with a similar breach.

Mecklenburg County, N.C. officials refused to pay the Bitcoin ransom, however.