Canadian university paid $20,000 in bitcoin to ransomware hackers

Crime | June 10, 2016 By:

The University of Calgary in Canada has been forced to pay ransomware hackers $20,000 CDN in bitcoin to restore access to data after hundreds of its computers were attacked.

The university was unable to unwind the damage caused by the malware as it caused e-mails and other files to get encrypted. The university was attacked by ransomware last month and over 100 computers were affected.

“As part of efforts to maintain all options to address these systems issues, the university has paid a ransom totalling about $20,000 CDN that was demanded as part of this ‘ransomware’ attack. The university is now in the process of assessing and evaluating the decryption keys. The actual process of decryption is time-consuming and must be performed with care. It is important to note that decryption keys do not automatically restore all systems or guarantee the recovery of all data. A great deal of work is still required by IT to ensure all affected systems are operational again, and this process will take time,” said University of Calgary vice president Linda Dalgetty.

Dalgetty added that as of 6 June, the university’s email was back up and running for students and staff. The university is cooperating with the Calgary police to further investigate the attack.