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Senate Democrats in Pennsylvania Are Being Held Cyber-Hostage

The Pennsylvania Senate Democrats have been hit by a ransomware attack that has locked senators and employees out of their computer network since the early morning hours of Friday, state officials told NBC News.

In a statement, Sen. Jay Costa, the Democratic leader, said the Democrats were working with law enforcement agencies and Microsoft to resolve the problem. He did not say what payment has been demanded to unlock the data, or whether the attackers had suggested any political motive.

In a ransomware attack, hackers inject a network with malware that typically encrypts important data, and then demand payment in exchange for a key that releases the data. They threaten to destroy the data if they aren’t paid.

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