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Why would ransomware hackers target an Auburn food bank?


Ransomware attacks are becoming a bit more common of late. Hackers hijack an organization’s data with an encryption and then demand that they pay it back for a large sum of money. A ransomware attack recently cost the city of Baltimore more than $18 million. Last week, an Auburn food bank was hit and they now need the public’s help to replace the impacted equipment.

“On Tuesday morning very early at 2:00 a.m. we got hit by a ransomware and everything was encrypted. The message to us said that we could send back some personal I.D. information and what we would like to have back … and the person would then decide how much money we would owe in order to get our files all back,” Auburn Food Bank Director Debbie Christian told the Candy, Mike and Todd Show.

“What we’ve sort of learned through the process is if you try to pay a guy for your stuff back it’s still going to come to you damaged. It’s still going to be about 40 percent of it coming back to you. Most of it will still be encrypted. They’ll have damaged it in some way anyways and then they’ll want you to pay more when you call and complain.”

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The food bank did not give in to the ransom demand, and instead wiped all the impacted systems. Replacing everything is expected to cost up to $8,000, and since they don’t have the funds as a charitable organization, they need the public’s help, reports Bleeping Computer.

“So first and foremost my client database program is totally gone. There’s nothing left of it. All of our information for our grant work it tracks. And any documentation for our families that help us continue to help them,” she said. “Then on the business side of it, it’s wiped out everything. I have absolutely not one piece of Word document, Excel document, nothing left.”

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“I don’t have an e-mail from yesterday. I can’t even e-mail inside the house to another co-worker down the hall.”

To help out with costs, head to or at Network for Good.

Listen to The Candy, Mike, and Todd Show weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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