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Riviera Beach Agrees To Pay $600000 Ransom To Hackers

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The Riviera Beach authorities have decided to pay 65 Bitcoins, worth around $600,000, as ransom to hackers who shut down the Florida city's computer networks with a virus through e-mail.

The Riviera Beach City Council convened an extraordinary session early this week to consider the hackers' demand for ransom in return for decrypting the digitized city records.

The ransomware attack took place on May 29.

The City Councilors voted unanimously to pay the huge amount in violation of FBI's warning against yielding to hackers' demands.

Online transactions of the tiny city of 35,000 residents was affected as its website, email server and billing system went down after hackers encrypted data.

A report quoting the city's IT Director Justin Williams said the city council website and email were restored.

The number of ransomware attacks and the amount of cryptocurrency payout are on the rise in the United States.

Palm Springs, a suburb of Palm Beach, and Jackson County, Georgia were forced to pay out huge ransomware demands. The cities of Atlanta and Newark also suffered ransomware attacks last year.

The average cryptocurrency payout for ransomware attacks had risen by a dramatic nearly 90 percent in the first quarter of this year, a firm that helps victims pay ransoms said in its quarterly report in April.

In the first quarter of 2019, the average ransom increased by 89 percent to $12,762, compared to $6,733 in the last quarter of 2018, Coveware said in its quarterly Ransomware Marketplace report.

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