- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 6, 2019

Baltimore city employees are incapable of accessing archived emails due to a ransomware infection that has disrupted government operations for nearly two months, a report said Friday.

Andre Davis, Baltimore’s city solicitor, said that emails older than 90 days are unable to be retrieved following the May 7 ransomware attack, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Mr. Davis was uncertain whether the emails will ever be recovered, potentially complicating records requests and other efforts to hold officials accountable, the report said.

Ransomware typically works by encrypting the contents of an infected computer and then holding that data hostage until a payment is made. The latest infection in Baltimore is the second suffered by the city in fewer than 14 months.

Baltimore isolated several computer systems to quarantine the ransomware after detecting the latest infection, the city said previously. Most but not all systems have since been restored.

“We are in the process of restoring email and computer access to city employees,” reads a statement posted on the city’s official website. “This is an ongoing process in our efforts to restore our network and applications in a safe and secure manner.”

Both the FBI and Secret Service have advised Baltimore against paying the ransomware, according to the statement.

The FBI was contacted in 2018 by 1,493 ransomware victims, the bureau’s cybercrime division said in an annual report released in April. Those infections caused more than $3.6 million in adjusted losses last year, according to the FBI’s report.

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