Ransomware managed to take down the entire St Louis library network last week.
St. Louis Public Library patrons may once again check out materials from all 17 locations following last week’s ransomware attack.
On Jan. 19, hackers broke into the SLPL network, installed malware on some 700 computers, and demanded an undisclosed payment for its removal.
With the help of the FBI, the Library’s technology staff over the weekend regained access to the affected servers; as of Monday, service was restored to reservable computers at each branch. Still, SLPL Executive Director Waller McGuire urged patrons to “call ahead and make certain a computer is available.”
“We hope to make all public computers and mobile printing available shortly,” he added.
According to The Guardian, hackers demanded $35,000 in Bitcoins in exchange for a code to unlock the machines. The civic service, however, made no payment of ransom.
Visitors to the St. Louis Public Library can rest assured SLPL does not store personal or financial information on its servers, so no data was compromised in last week’s attack.
“The real victims of this criminal attack are the Library’s patrons,” McGuire said, apologizing for any inconvenience the incident caused.
“SLPL has worked hard to open a secure but widely available digital world to the people of St. Louis, and I am sorry it was interrupted,” he continued. “An attempt to hold information and access to the world for ransom is deeply frightening and offensive to any public library, and we will make every effort to keep that world available to our patrons.”
Ransomware has become an increasingly popular form of cyberattack: According to a study published in August, nearly 40 percent of enterprises were hit by ransomware in the past year. Nearly 35 percent of those targeted lost money, and 20 percent were forced to close up shop because of it.