A medical billing firm in Bloomington that fell victim to a ransomware attack made a $17,000 bitcoin payment this week to regain access to encrypted computer files.

The owner of MedPro Services on West Second Street reported to Bloomington police on Wednesday that she noticed on Oct. 27 that some computer files in the company’s system had been encrypted. She could not gain access, and soon learned her computer server had been hacked and infected with a virus.

Then pages with ransom demands were displayed, and business owner Rebecca Kieffner sought advice from experts and her insurance company. She hired a software company that helped her negotiate with the people responsible for the attack, which she suspects originated in Russia.

She paid the equivalent of nearly two bitcoin, about $17,000, in order to get a password to open her business files.

The experience was a rude awakening, said Kieffner, who has worked 17 years to build her business. She and seven employees provide medical billing for orthopedic offices around the country, and she was unable to access any of her business files.
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