This week, a suburban police department outside of Chicago paid $500 in bitcoins to an unidentified hacker for relief from Cryptoware, another bit of malware capitalizing on the growing trend of ransomware.
The Chicago Tribune reported that police in Midlothian—located south of the city—first encountered Cryptoware in January. Someone initially opened an e-mail carrying the malware, thus inviting Cryptoware into the department to access a computer. As is standard in the ransomware script, soon a message popped up demanding money in exchange for a code that could free the device from Cryptoware.
Local IT professionals assured the paper that the hacker didn’t access files in the police department’s system, rather the Cryptoware scheme only encrypted swaths of department computers and made certain documents inaccessible. “It didn’t encrypt everything in the police department. It was just that computer and specific files,” Calvin Harden Jr., an IT vendor who works with the village, told the Tribune.