Computers hackers are increasingly targeting local governments with cyberattacks for financial gain.
Hackers this week successfully infected government servers with malware in North Carolina, locking Mecklenburg County officials out of their systems and slowing its operations to a crawl.
Hackers demanded $23,000 in exchange for unlocking the stolen files. Officials are refusing to pay—meaning they will need to rebuild their systems from scratch.
The ransomware attack is just the latest assault by hackers on local communities and organizations that lack the funding and resources of corporate America to defend against sophisticated cyber threats.