The US city of Baltimore’s government, long plagued by dysfunction, is now battling a ransomware attack that has crippled its systems for more than two weeks and counting.
Hackers breached the Maryland city’s servers on 7 May and demanded $100,000 (£79,000) worth of Bitcoin.
The ransomware has blocked government email accounts and disabled online payments to city departments.
Baltimore city officials have so far refused to pay the ransom.
It is the second cyber-attack to strike the city in as many years – the last one knocked out its emergency dispatch system for about a day.
The FBI and Secret Service are investigating the latest breach.
Baltimore Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young has acknowledged it is unclear when the systems will be back in operation this time.
“I know the folks in the technology office are working diligently to bring us back on board,” said his spokesman, Lester Davis.
Aviel Rubin, a cybersecurity expert and computer science professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, estimates “conservatively” that it will be months before the systems are up and running.
Source: Baltimore government held hostage by hackers’ ransomware – BBC News