More than $1 million spent recovering CDOT files held at ransom

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DENVER -- It's estimated that it has cost between $1 million and $1.5 million to recover files through alternative systems after CDOT's files were hijacked and held at ransom.

Criminals infiltrated CDOT's systems through a weakness it detected in early February. The criminals deployed ransomware hijacking the files unless CDOT paid the ransom to get an electronic key to unlock the files.

Deborah Blyth, Colorado's Chief Information Security Officer, said it's the state's policy not to pay ransom. Plus, Blyth said the criminals often use the money to commit more crimes. Since the attack, CDOT has spent weeks using backup systems to recover the files that have been hijacked. So far, the efforts to recover the files have cost between $1 million and $1.5 million.

The team working on file recovery has been able to bring 80 percent of computers impacted back online. Blyth said CDOT is in a much more secure place now than before the attack.

"Much more secure, much more supported in new technology than they’ve been before," said Blyth.

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