U.S. mayors resolve to no longer pay ransomware attackers

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The North America Conference of Mayors issued a resolution
at its 87th yearly meeting to stand united against paying ransoms
when their municipality is hit with a ransomware flak.

The organization stated in its resolution that paying ransoms merely encourages others to conduct like attacks by showing there could be a fiscal benefit, and that it behooves municipal governments to de-incentivize these attacks to prevent further harm. The Conference of Mayors is comprised of mayors representing cities with more than 30,000 residents.

“NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the United States
Conference of Mayors stands united against paying ransoms in the event of an IT
security breach,” the resolution stated.

The resolution was introduced by Baltimore Mayor Jack Young
and co-sponsored by Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman. Baltimore was victimized in May by a
massive Robbinhood ransomware blast that effectively unopen down city
operations. Young refused to pay the $76,000 ransom, but the city is now
estimating it will cost $18 million to fully recover from the incident.

Atlanta found itself in a alike situation in 2018 after it was hit with SamSam ransomware and faced recovery costs hitting the $17 million mark.

Prior to the resolution passing, two Florida Cities, Riviera Beach and Lake City, paid ransoms of $600,000 and $460,000, respectively, to regain accession to their systems. Riviera Beach Mayor Ronnie L. Felder is a member of the Conference of Mayors, but it is not known how he voted on this resolution.

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