At a conference on Monday, Mayor of Detroit Mike Duggan told how the city became a victim of hackers who had stolen a digital database and asked for ransom in bitcoin. However, their request resulted unsuccessful as the seized database was not utilized by the city.
At current prices, the ransom could achieve over $800 what is equal to the demanded 2,000 bitcoins.
While speaking at the North American International Cyber Summit at Cobo Center, focused on cyber security problems, Duggan admitted that after the incident he understood the necessity of rising security of data storage.
“It was a good warning sign for us,” he told the audience.
The incident is not the only one in the city. The number of hacker attacks faced by the Michigan state government amounts to about 500,000 each day. Duggan considers the improvements in the sector are highly needed.
The mayor said: “It was pretty disturbing what I found. I found the Microsoft Office system we had was about 10 years old and couldn’t sync the calendar to my phone.”
“We’re in the early stages of ramping up,” he added. “The stakes in play in the state and in the country are enormous.”
Duggan also added that an unnamed person involved in last year’s historic bankruptcy in Detroit, became a victim of a cyberattack that involved threatening emails and money being stolen from that person’s banking account.
“The timing was such that he certainly thought it was a political agenda,” the mayor said.
The recent attack was one of several examples that proved the city lacks an updated technology and security.
Another case in which victim was asked to pay with bitcoin to regain control of stolen information occurred earlier this month.
The Dickson County Sheriff’s Office in Tennessee paid nearly $500 in bitcoin to a hacker who attacked a server used by the law enforcement agency and also demanded ransom.
The conference also featured such speakers as Gov. Rick Snyder, former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, some military leaders and private-sector analysts.
Snyder suggested the attacks would increase within time as more assets are stored on the web.
“Twenty years from now, your car is going to be driving itself,” he said. “The vehicle will be talking to other vehicles, making decisions on when to stop and when to brake.”
Snyder added: “The risks we have today are only going to dramatically increase.”
He also thinks that nonprofit companies and businesses are more susceptible to hacker attacks than the government. “The easiest way to disrupt our world is to go through the private sector,” he said.
“We need to get everyone involved, not just the government,” he noted. “It’s the private sector, the individuals all learning more about cyber security.”