Other NJ News

Hackers Demand $30K from City of Newark, Sources Say


NEWARK, NJ — Some computers in the City of Newark have been infected with ransomware, rendering them unusable, and the hacker is demanding payment of 24 Bitcoin, or about $30,000 in ransom, according to a document obtained by TAPInto Newark and a city official with knowledge of the hack.

The document reveals that that city computers were infected with RSA-2048 encryption, which encrypts computer files, such as Word and Excel files, picture files and virtually any other type of file that runs on a desktop computer.

Seth Wainer, chief information officer for the City of Newark, confirmed that some computers were hit with a "virus" on Friday and over the weekend, though he declined to say specifically what type of virus.

Sign Up for E-News

"The virus compromised our network and disrupted many services that we offer," Wainer said. "Our police services are unaffected and continue operating normally."

Wainer said city government is operating in “safe mode as we inspect each service to look for security gaps."

"This means some of our digital services are unavailable," Wainer said. "We understand this causes an extreme disruption to residents who have come to depend on regular services - and we apologize."

Wainer said the city has been working closely with state and federal law enforcement "to address the present emergency and better prepare ourselves for the future."

City officials declined to confirm the authenticity of the document obtained by TAPIntoNewark because of the federal investigation.

In the document, the hacker explains that the city's computers can be easily unlocked by paying for a electronic key with bitcoin, an international electronic form of payment that is difficult to trace. One Bitcoin is worth about $1,257 today.

"You can get your private key in 3 easy step: Step 1: You must send us 1.7 Bitcoin for each affected PC OR 24 Bitcoin to receive ALL Private Keys for ALL affected PC's. Step 2: After you send us 1.7 Bitcoin, Leave a comment on our Site with this detail: Just write Your "Host name" in your comment."

The RSA-2048 maleware typically infects a user's computer when they are tricked into running an attachment in a spam email. Once the maleware is launched, it encrypts files and requires a "private key" to open them. The private key is only provided after the user pays the ransom.

The San Diego Union Tribune reported Friday that a soaring number of computers are being attacked by malware. The article said the FBI advises people who have been infected with ransomware not to pay.

“Obviously, we don’t want to see criminals make money from their criminal activity,” Special Agent Chris Christopherson, who investigates cyber crimes out of the FBI’s field office in San Diego told the newspaper. “It funds further illicit activity, and it kind of emboldens them.

“However, we do understand that businesses or even individuals might have a lot of money invested in files (on their computers). … There are going to be business decisions that arise where people pay the ransom.”




TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


East Brunswick: I Don't Wanna Close Up, I'm a Toys-R-Us Kid

March 16, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - East Brunswick used to be the home of Meyer's toy store, an almost idyllic wonderland of all sorts of Barbies, parts for swimming pools, and clanging model trains until it closed in 2002.  Kay-Bee toy store was a popular stop at the Brunswick Square Mall until 2009, with a salesperson often displaying the newest gadget outside its door, causing eager kids ...


Piscataway – Reinhard Rudolf Kiefer, 85, died Sunday March 11, 2018 at home. Born in ...
Read more
Piscataway, NJ – Manuela Cruz, 94, born July 17, 1923, passed away peacefully on March 8, ...
Read more

Celebrate National Ag Day at the Middlesex County EARTH Center

March 13, 2018

EARTH CENTER, NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - Consider this: just about everything we eat, wear and use comes from agriculture. That is why America’s farmers and their crops are celebrated each year on National Ag Day, which falls this year on March 20.

To honor this day, the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County has planned a new seminar entitled The State of Agriculture and ...

Darby Road to Host Fifth Annual St. Patrick's Day Festival

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Darby Road Public House (450 Park Ave., Scotch Plains) has announced the dates and times of its hugely popular St. Patrick’s Day Festival, which will be set up in the municipal parking lot.

The festival features Irish bands, Irish step dancers, bagpipers, great Irish fare and enough Guinness to go around! The event also will have a bounce house, ...

Piscataway Libraries Host Annual NJ Makers Day Program

PISCATAWAY, NJ – The Piscataway Public Libraries were once again hosts to dozens of “makers” for the 4th Annual NJ Makers Day celebration.

The Saturday events at the Kennedy and Westergard Libraries featured activities and demonstrations by members of the maker culture with a focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) initiatives.

Among other ...

NCAA Tournament: Heilmann and DelVecchio Both Secure All-American Honors; Suriano Becomes Rutgers' First-Ever Finalist

CLEVELAND, OH -The senior class of South Plainfield High School’s “Murderer’s Row”, the 2013 team that earned a group title, two individual state titles, and produced five state placewinners, knows a thing or two about making wrestling history. The 2018 NCAA wrestling tournament marks the last time two standouts from 2013 team, Troy Heilmann and Scott DelVecchio, will ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, March 17, 1:00 PM


International Food Festival

Food & Drink

Sat, March 17, 5:30 PM

St. Francis Episcopal Church, Dunellen

St. Patrick's Day Annual Dinner

Food & Drink

Thu, March 22, 7:00 PM


The Basics of Starting a Business

Business & Finance

Fri, March 23, 8:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey , New Brunswick

Motown the Musical

Arts & Entertainment

New Jersey Hoops Player Isaiah Rogers Part of College Basketball History

March 17, 2018

CHARLOTTE, NC - You all saw what happened. You all witnessed history.

But did you know a former Jonathan Dayton basketball player, who helped lead the Bulldogs to an NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 2, Group 1 state title in 2012-13, is on the University of Maryland-Baltimore County men’s basketball roster?

Junior guard Isaiah Rogers, who served as UMBC’s team’s manager in ...

Get Smart

I don’t want to be on a first name basis with my refrigerator.


Oh don’t get me wrong, I am all for cool technology—when it works—but I draw the line at talking to appliances.  I have enough trouble carrying on conversations with humans.  


But in what must be one of the truly great technological oxymorons of our time, the dawn of the ...