This Town Was Knocked Offline "A Hacker's Story" featuring ex-Anonymous 1 day ago   05:11

City officials in the sleepy West Texas border town of Del Rio arrived to work on January 10th to an ominous situation — their computers didn't work.

At first, it appeared that the internet wasn't functioning, but the city's IT department soon confirmed that their entire system had been encrypted, and hackers were asking for a ransom to unlock it.

Though hard numbers are hard to come by, ransomware, as it's known, appeared to enjoy a banner year in 2018, with cities such as Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina locked out of their data systems for weeks. "People who aren't computer savvy don't realize how big of a deal it is," Mayor Bruno "Ralphy" Lozano told VICE News.

As of writing, the city of Del Rio is still locked out of its servers, though Lozano tells us that the town's insurance successfully negotiated with the hackers to get their data back. Officials wouldn't say how much ransom was paid, but the town's IT department is keeping the city offline as a preventative measure until they determine if they should rebuild the system from the ground up.

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Comments 897 Comments

"People who aren't computer savvy don't realize how big of a deal it is," Mayor Bruno "Ralphy" Lozano told VICE News.
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Mike Foxtrot
Why does the Mayor have a Mexican flag in his office?
I wonder if they got this fixed.
What a stereotype, "Was it the Russians?".
Andres Osuna
Just 30 min away from my city i sometimes go there
Yo! I remember when this happened, I live here! scary stuff.
James S.
Yet IT is the first dept to get cut.
The mayor is something else...the Russians lol
guess that queer don't understand trolling sarcasm
Drastic Change
Why is there a Mexican flag inside a politicians office inside the United States?
Dj M3
Backup the system and data all the time!
Marie Jackson
I... don't remember this happening. 😂 Then again I barely pay attention here because it's not a great place.
these people can hit off a whole city and i boot my self offline when trying to hit someone else off... smh
Clinton Gwanyama
Please change your password from 123456 to Qwerty
Ben Russell
I work in IT. It was almost 100% random. Either someone made their system vulnerable by getting a virus a dozen different ways, or it was a random attack on an open network port, most likely RDP.
Elian Gonzalez
Never thought del rio would be on vice news
the problem of this town lies exclusively within it's administration.
they should've been accumulating regular automatic backups of sensitive data and when they've got compromised they must have reinstalled their software and recovered data from latest valid backup.
M. Savage
"Is it the Russians?" lmao. A little too much Fox news going on there.
Sir. Smoke a lot
I live in the town an I can fully 100% admit that this is fake an the mayor knows about all along
Eric Murray
Backups on-site and off-site would have saved the day here.....
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"A Hacker's Story" featuring ex-Anonymous This Town Was Knocked Offline 1 day ago   23:21

"A Hacker's Story" explores how an informal or "casual" group of mainly young people - who has a vision but no contract - assemble and act on it to hack global organisations. What triggers them to carry out a hack or share confidential intel? In other words, why do hackers work, and what role could or should they play in our world? What risks do they pose to our security - are they an asset or a threat? How can young people be better informed on the realities of hacking and the wider implications?

"A Hacker's Story" focuses on the experiences and insights from three different people, each with a unique perspective on illegal hacking:

Jake Davis was once dubbed the “most-wanted cyber-criminals on the planet”. Previously a member of hacker collective Anonymous, he later formed LulzSec, where he and his collaborative targeted sites such as The Sun, X-Factor, Sony, and the CIA. Eventually arrested in a joint FBI-Scotland Yard investigation, Jake explains his motivations, and his view on the wider, real world of hacking. Today he’s a writer, speaker and global consultant on security, internet culture and privacy.

Professor Ruth Blakeley is co-director of The Rendition Project which provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of the CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation programme. As Professor of Politics and International Relations at Sheffield University, she explains the impact and role of whistleblowers and hacking on global security… and human rights.

Richard Jones is Manager of the Prevent operational team at the National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU), in the UK's National Crime Agency. He and his team focus on stopping people from becoming involved in cyber crime, or from re-offending. Stressing the rule of the law, Richard highlights the need for greater collaboration and communication between young hackers and the work of the NCCU.

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