This Town Was Knocked Offline By Hackers (HBO)

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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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Published on


Feb 8, 2019

VICE NewsVICE News TonightVICE on HBOnewsvice videovice news 2018west texas borderborder cityransomware attackdel rio texascity officialstechnologyhackershacked towncomputersdata systemuser datadata breachinsuranceIT departmentvice magazineanonymous hackersinternet dangerinternet technologyfacebook privacymark zuckerberg




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Comments 716
VICE News 5 months ago
"People who aren't computer savvy don't realize how big of a deal it is," Mayor Bruno "Ralphy" Lozano told VICE News. WATCH NEXT: How Israel Rules The World Of Cybersecurity - bit.ly/2GO8eGo
CAGonRiv 5 months ago
@Andrew Stewart it's a damn good article. You should look into how Cuban's are now the world's most effective Intel brokers
Andrew Stewart
Andrew Stewart 5 months ago
*How Israel rules the world* /br ...of cyber security
CAGonRiv 5 months ago
@TheShadowofDormin you clearly don't have a background in CompSci. What happened here has been around for more than 20 years...bro, you have NO idea what lingers in the dark.
TheShadowofDormin 5 months ago
THIS IS POSSIBLE!?!? WTF......We should make sure not to get rid of our old systems
Jeffrey Nunes
Jeffrey Nunes 5 months ago
Im sorry but s.e.a. has Israel beat.
so long and thanks for all the fish
Did they try unplugging it for 10 seconds and then plugging it back in?
Judith Riojas
Judith Riojas Month ago
I’m just curious what episode and season it is
Above the Lies
Above the Lies 2 months ago
This was probably our own government testing their abilitys to take down a city.
Mike Foxtrot
Mike Foxtrot 3 months ago
Why does the Mayor have a Mexican flag in his office?
R last
R last 3 months ago
@Mike Foxtrot OK Trump. has anyone checked that the mail order bride he calls Melania is in the white house...
Mike Foxtrot
Mike Foxtrot 3 months ago
More like treachery.
R last
R last 3 months ago
cause it a border town and it's our heritage
GamerbyDesign 4 months ago
I wonder if they got this fixed.
RoBoVader 4 months ago
What a stereotype, "Was it the Russians?".
Andres Osuna
Andres Osuna 4 months ago
Just 30 min away from my city i sometimes go there
CT_Human 4 months ago
Yo! I remember when this happened, I live here! scary stuff.
James S.
James S. 4 months ago
Yet IT is the first dept to get cut.
TheOnlyLinkify 4 months ago
The mayor is something else...the Russians lol
GamingTV 4 months ago
guess that queer don't understand trolling sarcasm
Drastic Change
Drastic Change 4 months ago
Why is there a Mexican flag inside a politicians office inside the United States?
Dj M3
Dj M3 4 months ago
Backup the system and data all the time!
Marie Jackson
Marie Jackson 4 months ago
I... don't remember this happening. 😂 Then again I barely pay attention here because it's not a great place.
Clinton Gwanyama
Clinton Gwanyama 4 months ago
Please change your password from 123456 to Qwerty
Ben Russell
Ben Russell 4 months ago
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
Elian Gonzalez 4 months ago
Never thought del rio would be on vice news
buoyant 4 months ago
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
M. Savage 4 months ago
"Is it the Russians?" lmao. A little too much Fox news going on there.
Sir. Smoke a lot
Sir. Smoke a lot 4 months ago
I live in the town an I can fully 100% admit that this is fake an the mayor knows about all along
Eric Murray
Eric Murray 4 months ago
Backups on-site and off-site would have saved the day here.....
Christopher Rodriguez
dam shortie in the ram shirt jaja
The DreadNeck
The DreadNeck 5 months ago
Guy all thinks it was a random attack lol Who voted for this dude?
R last
R last 3 months ago
司此雷 5 months ago
Damn the comments are full of nut jokes. But a hacker can't simply hack in to a system, so I presume he/she send a fake email with malicious software-virus(Ransom ware) to one of the employees of the city government and he/she opened it, hence infected one computer, then later the entire system. A backdoor as a matter in fact.
Richard Phillips
Richard Phillips 5 months ago
Russians lol
Jeffrey 5 months ago
Plot twist: Its the mayor who hacked the city.
xele fonte
xele fonte 5 months ago
Sounds like an inside job by a disgruntled employee working for the city of Del Rio.
Tec 2000
Tec 2000 5 months ago
The city is a joke
R last
R last 3 months ago
they think the same about u
Jacckeyy 5 months ago
All I see is incompetent people being in charge of the highly sensitive data. This is a sad case of mismanagement and ignorance of the Mayor's office.
Kris B
Kris B 5 months ago
So who opened the paycheck.doc email? lol
Luke H
Luke H 5 months ago
Always blame the Russians.
Mason Mozitis
Mason Mozitis 5 months ago
sounds like a ddos attack and if it is, all they need is ddos filters, there like $600,000 a unit tho for that massive of a scale
n nn
n nn 5 months ago
1:24 this rainbow taco has no idea what hes talking about.
Jiblert CP
Jiblert CP 5 months ago
1:52 I have that same heart decoration piece that's on the front of the counter. :P
Kenneth Huang
Kenneth Huang 5 months ago
Well the response to the problem was pretty good, I’ll give them that
Nicholas Maietta
Nicholas Maietta 5 months ago
I'm an I.T. Specialist, network security specialist as well as a network intrusion detection specialist. There is absolutely no fucking reason they couldn't get things back in operating within a day or two.
Jeremy Bulger
Jeremy Bulger 5 months ago
Thought you weren’t suppose to negotiate with these types of people
JH 5 months ago
As the President I would hunt these groups like ISIS, drones would fly in to whatever city they were in and blow them up.
DataStorm 5 months ago
Mayor needs to get that Mexican flag out of his office. Might want to check the cartels and consult someone who can simply monitor and control network traffic and install honey pots in your system for hackers to "find". Another case of gross negligence and total incompetence from government officals.
girlgamer why not
girlgamer why not 5 months ago
Gay mayor.. that's a milestone
BBC600 5 months ago
Although Ms. Vela complains about using the typewriter (which probably was inconvenient for her especially since she mentioned having the letters pretyped on the computer) she should be thankful she has that available to her. We as a society rely too heavily on the Internet and computers! Paper is tried and tested. Everyone should watch this video as it shows why I prefer to use paper when possible.
Damianz 5 months ago
Build that fire wall, build that fire wall
Black Water Revival
Black Water Revival 5 months ago
The infamous Pj
The infamous Pj 5 months ago
Hearing the mayor talk I’m not surprised someone was able to do this hes literally talking out of his ass .
Spencer T
Spencer T 5 months ago
My God that mayor lol
Spencer T
Spencer T 3 months ago
@R last I didn't disrespect anyone. And just because your a veteran doesn't mean your a protected class, if a veteran ran up and hit you does it mean you should just thank him? There are assholes and there are good people in any class.
R last
R last 3 months ago
@Spencer T there are bigger problems then disrespecting a veteran who stepped up and running a city....
Spencer T
Spencer T 3 months ago
@R last everything, literally everything.
R last
R last 3 months ago
what about him?
jimcola99 Buchanan
jimcola99 Buchanan 5 months ago
Questions I want answered. Did they pay? How much did they pay?
Kille78 5 months ago
This is the kind of place where everyone just rolls their eyes at IT when they explain how vulnerable they are and then they're the ones that get blamed when it happens
Kille78 5 months ago
How in the hell did that guy get elected?! He's completely clueless in the most basic things. Not to mention that lady using a typewriter. Just because you dont have internet does not mean you cant use the damn computer holy shit these people are all complete morons.
Buttdreads 5 months ago
Oh TexAss
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