Print 34 comment(s) - last by mindless1.. on May 11 at 9:00 PM

The state has refused to pay the $10M ransom demand

Days after it was revealed a hacker successfully compromised the Virginia Health database and stole records of more than 8 million patients; the state of Virginia announced it will not pay a requested $10 million ransom.

The database is used by pharmacies and doctors to track narcotics and painkiller prescriptions, in an attempt to reduce the amount of abuse, theft and illegal sales of popular prescription drugs.

Both the Virginia state police and FBI are looking into the matter, with Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine saying this is a "crime and it is being treated that way."

The state has refused to pay the ransom, and will instead rely on the FBI's investigation to locate and prosecute the people responsible for this data intrusion.

Since the breach last week, the Department of Health Professions shut down its computer network, and all data has been successfully backed up.  The DHP has issued a statement saying it can "assure the public that all precautions are being taken for DHP operations to continue safely and securely."

Hackers’ attempts to steal personal information or hold data for ransom has increased in popularity, with hackers routinely stealing Social Security Numbers and other personal information so it can be sold to identity thieves.  There is a growing concern over foreign-based hacker groups that are bankrolled by countries such as China and Russia, who are targeting U.S.-based computer networks.

The FBI hasn't said if they believe this data intrusion to be the work of foreign hackers, but it's a link they're likely looking into during the investigation.

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Wha if...
By AnnihilatorX on 5/8/2009 9:00:00 AM , Rating: 5
If a state pays the hacker the ransom, public won't be notified about it any ways because it shows a sign of weakness of the government side.

No I am not saying they actually pay the hacker ransom, nor that I believe so. I am saying the announcement is as expected as many public announcements on such matters.

But I do think hackers would have more success in demanding ransoms from private companies than a government organisation.

RE: Wha if...
By Jargo on 5/8/2009 9:19:05 AM , Rating: 2
Key thing to ransoming a goverment is secrecy.
A goverment cant risk loosing face, so they will consider paying as long as the whole subject is done in secret BUT once it goes public they have to tough it out.

RE: Wha if...
By Meinolf on 5/8/2009 10:29:53 AM , Rating: 2
He should have done a lower amount he was too greedy.

RE: Wha if...
By ebakke on 5/8/2009 10:31:54 AM , Rating: 4
He should have gotten a $#*%ing job.

RE: Wha if...
By EasyC on 5/8/2009 12:09:21 PM , Rating: 5
No, he should have started a company and then asked for a bailout.

RE: Wha if...
By PlasmaBomb on 5/9/2009 4:53:58 AM , Rating: 2

RE: Wha if...
By sprockkets on 5/8/2009 3:24:06 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe if he asked for "One million dollars" ...

RE: Wha if...
By Jacerie on 5/8/2009 7:28:21 PM , Rating: 3
Don't forget the shark with a frickin' laser on its head!

RE: Wha if...
By mindless1 on 5/9/2009 9:38:21 PM , Rating: 2
Seems simple, that they'd hide it, but there's accountability, book keeping where $10M vanished. Who is accountable for lying about where an extra $10M went?

If nobody lies about spending more than a project costs, the public would find out $10M was missing then the state says they wanted to keep it a secret? Would've been worse than paying publicly or not paying at all.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
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