The city of Spring Hill had its hands full with a hostage situation this week, but it didn't involve people being held for ransom: it was the city's own computer data.
Spring Hill fell victim to a ransomware attack, knocking out the city's email system, and making it impossible for residents to pay their utility bills online.
Officials gave four tips to help people and businesses avoid becoming another ransomware victim.
- Check links before clicking them.
- Keep operating system update with the newest version
- Backup important files on a hard drive disconnected from the internet.
- Never open a suspicious email attachment.
"A lot of companies back up their data but they keep it on the same network as the current live copies, so when the ransomware gets into the system it locks up the production copies as well as the backups," said Teddy Ansink with Sword and Shield Enterprise Security.
This isn't the first time a government agency has been hit with a ransomware attack.
Back in 2014, the Dickson County Sheriff's office paid a $572 ransom to get back sensitive computer data that a cyber criminal locked up.