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Indiana county pays $130,000 to get information back after cyber attack

LAPORTE COUNTY, Ind. – A cyber attack forced LaPorte County government officials to pay a ransom to get their information back.

The “Ryuk” virus made its way into the county’s computer system through backup servers. The county paid a total ransom of $130,000—most of which will be covered by insurance.

Cyber crimes experts say this is an example of a cyber attack that could happen to anyone who simply clicks on the wrong thing.

“People are busy and people just click links and open attachments, and that’s all it takes,” said Kathy Guider, a former FBI special agent who works for Veracity IIR, a security consulting firm. "You are infected and then it quickly spreads to the entire system and your office, and quickly your system is locked or encrypted."

Guider said it's important to take a close look at any emails you receive, especially those with attachments.

“Think before you open that attachment. Who is this email from? Do you know them? And why would they be sending you something?” she said.

"The FBI and most federal law agencies are going to say, 'Do not pay the ransom,'" Guider told FOX59. "Because they say that they’re going to unlock your data, but I think I read that 43% of the time, you don’t get your data back after you’ve paid."

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