Mount Holly Springs police fall victim to cyber attack


MOUNT HOLLY SPRINGS, Pa. (WHTM) – The Mount Holly Springs Police Department says no private information was jeopardized when hackers took over one its computers.

The cyber attack Thursday morning began when an employee opened an email that looked legitimate.

“She got an email from FedEx that said we had missed a delivery and they wanted to reschedule. The minute she opened it, she received a second email that said they installed an encryption into our files and wanted payment for it,” Chief Thomas Day said.

The hackers demanded payment of $500 in Bitcoin within three days.

“You either pay the ransom or you lose your files if you’re not protected. In our case, we weren’t protected,” Day said.

Day said the hacked computer was not connected to the general server and none of the lost files were vital.

“Schedules, our budget reports, that’s the kind of stuff she had lost out of there. Plus, we do a monthly report to Council,” he said.

However, the department will spend dozens of hours replicating the documents that were lost.

“Wake up call, that’s the best way I can put it,” Day said. “What’s amazing to me is how people with this type of intelligence use it for such evil things; to deceive people out of their money and hold them for hostage with their files is just beyond me, but if it’s a multi-billion dollar a year industry, I can see why.”

The department has hired a Mechanicsburg company to guard against future attacks.

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