Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

Alabama County Succumbs to Bitcoin Ransomware Demands

A lack of preparedness cost one county in Alabama $37,000. Ransomware attacks are easily neutralized if a data center’s staff is properly prepared in advance.

One of the largest counties in Alabama was the victim this time, and the security breach and subsequent encrypting of sensitive information cost the local government a not-inconsequential $37,000.

Hannah Hawk, a spokesperson for Montgomery County said that the attack “locked up” the county’s data using encryption methods. This prevented the necessary departments from accessing various pieces of sensitive information. Data ranged from vehicle tags to business and marriage licenses.

You can read the details in an article in the web site at:

Having your data held hostage by a ransomware attack is a miserable experience for individuals and large data centers alike. Paying the ransom is both expensive and embarrassing. However, as the old saying from Benjamin Franklin reminds us: “An ounce of preventioon is worth a pound of cure.”

If an action plan is implemented in advance, ransomware attacks can be irritating, but not disastrous.

How do you plan in advance? Start with the following articles:

What is Ransomware and 15 Easy Steps To Keep Your System Protected [Updated] by Andra Zaharia at

How to beat ransomware: prevent, don’t react by Wendy Zamora at

How to Protect Yourself From Ransomware Attacks by Brian X. Chen, published by the New York Times, at

If you use Windows, you also should read The Best Ransomware Protection of 2017 at (Ransomware is primarily a problem for Windows users. Macintosh and Linux systems theoretically can be attacked by ransomware but such attacks are not common.)

Categories: Viruses & Malware

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