Ransomware holds 48 servers hostage

A hacker’s 1 p.m. deadline to pay $23,000 passed Wednesday, and Mecklenburg County has not decided whether to pay the ransom for a cyber-attack that “paralyzed” the county. County manager Dena Diorio, at a 2 p.m. news conference at the Government Center, said third-party security experts believe the attack by a new strain of ransomware called LockCrypt originated from Iran or Ukraine. Forty-eight of about 500 county computer servers were affected. An employee of the Mecklenburg County government on Monday received an email routed from another employee’s account and opened it and a malicious attachment, infecting the county’s network. Hackers set a deadline of 1 p.m. Wednesday for officials to pay a ransom of about $23,000. Hours after the deadline passed, County Manager Dena R. Diorio said Mecklenburg would not pay the ransom.