Florida city fires IT manager after being forced to pay $460G in ransomware attack

A Florida city has fired one of its top tech employees after officials were forced to pay $460,000 in ransom to the hackers behind a cyber attack that disabled its servers, phones and email accounts.

Brian Hawkins, Lake City's information technology manager, was let go from his job after the hackers' malware compromised the city's computer network, according to WCJB.

“Our city manager did make a decision to terminate one employee and he is revamping our whole IT department to comply with what we need to be able to overcome what happened... so it doesn't happen again,” Mayor Stephen Witt told the station.

FLORIDA CITY TO PAY $600G IN RANSOM TO HACKERS IN EFFORT TO SAVE RECORDS

Documents obtained by Fox News show that Hawkins' employment with Lake City was terminated on June 21.

Staff initially tried to restore the networks themselves following the ransomware attack, but failed. Lake City council members, at an emergency meeting last week, ultimately agreed to pay 42 Bitcoins (around $460,000) to the hacker in exchange for a decryption key that would get its networks back online. The city's IT team and a third party vendor, WCJB reports, told them it was their only resort.

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The ransom payout was covered by the city's insurance provider except for a $10,000 deductible, which was paid for by Lake City. Witt believes the city will fully recover from the attack in two weeks.

The cybersecurity incident also comes around two weeks after Rivera Beach City opted to pay hackers almost $600,000 to restore their network following a similar attack.

Fox News' Kira Grant contributed to this report.