City Of Okemah, FBI Investigating After City Hacked, Ransom Demands Made


Friday, June 12th 2020, 8:51 am
By: Shannon Rousseau


OKEMAH -

Hackers held the city of Okemah's computer systems hostage Friday morning as they demanded thousands of dollars in ransom.

Okemah City Manager Dustin Danker is working with the FBI to try and resolve the digital lockdown.

On Monday, city staff discovered the city government's operating system had been hacked, meaning all of their data, including anything related to utility payments, is encrypted and inaccessible.

"It encrypted every bit of date on there. They didn't take anything. They just encrypted it," said Danker.

Danker said the hackers initially demanded $2,500 before bumping up their demand to $7,000.

The ransom will jump again to $14,000 on Friday if the city doesn't pay. 

Danker said the group behind the hack is well known to cybersecurity experts, and they have a reputation for keeping their word when it comes to ransoms and the information they hack.

The city is confident that if it pays the ransom that all the encrypted information will be released.

Danker said it's not clear where negotiations with the hackers stand.

The FBI has declined to comment on the investigation.