WARNING: Ransomware attacks on the rise

South Carolina leaders are warning of the growing problem of “ransomware” after one of South Carolina’s largest school districts fell victim.

Hackers lock your files using encryption and then demand money to get your data back.

Recently, the Horry County School District was forced to pay nearly $10,000.

Executive Director of the district’s technology team, Charles Hucks, was in Washington Wednesday to testify before a subcommittee on crime and terrorism.

“I’ve been working in this field for 30 years, and it was probably the worst month of my life,” Hucks explained. “It was rather significant, the first day, day zero of the event, all of our computing resources in the entire district were shut down.”

Senator Lindsey Graham asked questions during the hearing of how the government could cut down on the attacks. “This is just a different way of shaking people down, and stealing,” Graham said.

The F.B.I. says last year it received nearly 2,500 complaints about “ransomware,” costing the victims more than $24 million.

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