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Tennessee Sheriff Department’s Files Held for Bitcoin Ransom

bitcoin crime

NEW YORK (InsideBitcoins) — Local law enforcement found itself the victim of bitcoin blackmail after malware attacked their computer files and held all of their data hostage. Detectives told Adam Ghassemi, reporter for WTVF-TV, that the Dickson County, Tennessee Sheriff’s Office had been locked out of thousands of case files, pending payment of a $500 bitcoin ransom.

“Every sort of document that you could develop in an investigation was in that folder. There was a total of 72,000 files,” Detective Jeff McCliss told the television station.

The malware, called “Cryptowall,” apparently infected the office’s system when an employee clicked on an ad while streaming a local radio station. After consulting state authorities, as well as the FBI, the law enforcement agency decided the most expedient way to resolve the issue was to simply pay the ransom.

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