03 Feb 2017
A police department was recently hit with ransomware. When they decided not to pay the ransom, eight years worth of evidence was lost.
A statement released last week by the Cockrell Hill Police Department (a suburb of Dallas, TX) said that the number of affected cases should be pretty small, saying that a lot of the digital evidence was backed up on optical disks.
The issue wasn’t even reported until a defense attorney J. Collin Beggs, asked for video footage of his client from a court hearing. He lamented the loss, saying that “The playing field is already tilted in their favor enormously, and this tilts it even more.”
The Cockrell PD had actually been aware of the ransomware infection about a month and a half ago. It came from a spoofed email and was of the Osiris strain, a variant of the widely-used Locky ransomware. The demand was for a payment in Bitcoins totaling about $4000 USD. The Department brought in the FBI, who advised them not to pay the ransom because they couldn’t be sure to actually get their files back.