Maine Sheriff: Ransom Was Paid to Regain Computer Access
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - AUGUST 12: South Korean top professional online gamer Lee Yun-Yeol (22) of Pantech and Curitel team practices in his dormitory on August 12, 2005 in Seoul, South Korea. Multi-player gaming in South Korea is extremely popular thanks to its fast and widespread broadband network. Games are televised and professional players are treated, as well as paid, like sports stars. Professional gamers there attract huge sums in sponsorship and can make more than 100,000 USD a year. Online computer games are some of the most popular and largest growth areas in interactive entertainment. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
A Maine county sheriff says the county and four area police departments recently paid a ransom after a virus locked the computer system they use to keep records and share files.
Lincoln County Sheriff Todd Brackett tells WCSH6 that someone accidentally downloaded a virus that put an encryption code on all the computer data the four departments and county share.
The said the virus - called "megacode" - made the system unusable until they paid a ransom fee of about $300 to the creator of the virus. The department was then given a special code to unlock the encryption and restore the files.
Brackett said the FBI tracked the money to a Swiss bank account, but could go no further.
Published at 3:29 PM EDT on Apr 12, 2015
Copyright Associated Press