San Bernardino County acknowledged this week that it has paid a $1.1 million ransom to a hacker who uploaded malware to the Sheriff’s Department’s computer system.
In a ransomware attack, a criminal enters a system and encrypts the data, leaving the owner unable to access it. If a ransom is paid, usually in cryptocurrency, the criminal will provide a decryption key to unlock the data.
For weeks, the county said little publicly about the hack, other than to call it a “network disruption.”
David Wert, a county spokesman, said the county had anticipated such a computer invasion and had taken out insurance. He said that of the $1.1 million payout, the county’s share was $511,852 and that the insurance company paid the rest.