Local police departments hit by computer ransom virus

Several local police departments have been struck by hackers recently forcing departments to pay a ransom to regain control of their computers.

The Melrose Police Department computer network went offline for several days recently leaving officers unable to access their files.

The department was forced to pay a ransom to retain control of their computers. 

To regain control of the computers, the department had to buy a decryption key. The department paid around $480 in Bitcoins, an untraceable Internet currency.

Melrose is not the only department struck by ransom hackers. In spring of 2015, hackers struck the Tewksbury police department. The department paid several hundred dollars to get their computers back online. 

Swampscott Police had a similar problems several years ago. The town manager said the town hired an outside firm to solve the problem. 

Melrose’s mayor says he has heard of this kind of computer attack happening more across the country. 

“It’s throughout the country. It’s a new form of domestic terrorism,” said Mayor Robert Dolan.

(Copyright (c) 2016 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)