WASHINGTON – Lawyer Mari Jo Clark was keen to the adage, “You don’t negotiate with terrorists.”
But that was before she realized decades of documents in her law firm’s computer system were locked down and would be destroyed if she didn’t pay a $300 ransom.
Clark, whose office is in Phoenix, says she received a call from her office manager relaying that “nobody could open a PDF document, then nobody could open a Word document and then nobody could access any of the documents attached to any of our files.”
Clark called her regular IT expert, believing a recent system update might have caused a glitch.
“I instantly could hear a little panic in his voice, and his breathing got a little heavier, ” says Clark. “He immediately said, ‘I think you have this CryptoLocker virus.'”