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Hackers tried to hold a Detroit city database hostage

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
November 19, 2014
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Online criminals aren't just trying to extract ransoms from unsuspecting individuals; they're targeting whole cities, too. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has revealed that hackers tried to hold a city database hostage in April, demanding 2,000 Bitcoins (currently worth about $803,500) before they handed it back. Thankfully, the emphasis is on "tried." As Duggan explains, Detroit wasn't even using that database any more -- it simply ignored the ransom request.

Not that Motor City is taking the attempt too lightly. Duggan sees it as a "warning sign" that Detroit needs to catch up on its technology infrastructure; accordingly, there are security updates underway. It might be a race against time. While the local government's network escaped any serious danger in the spring, there's no guarantee that they'll be lucky the next time around.

[Image credit: soloway / Alamy]

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