Presque Isle Police Chief Laurie Kelly said their is no information on the department's recent ransomware attack and that an investigation is ongoing. Credit: Kathleen Phalen Tomaselli / BDN

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The unidentified cybergang that hacked into the Presque Isle Police Department server in mid-April has extended the ransom deadline until Friday at 7 p.m.

The Avaddon malware site located on the dark web is posting the police department status. The hackers gave city officials 192 more hours to pay an undisclosed ransom amount before they leak all the documents obtained in the attack. The new ransom timeclock ends May 7.

On April 18 when the breach was discovered, the city contacted the FBI, which is investigating the ransom attack, City Manager Martin Puckett said.

The FBI would neither confirm nor deny the investigation, but did say that last year, ransomware attacks cost Maine victims nearly $100,000. 

The city was able to obtain all its data from a backup source, but the hackers still could have the stolen data that includes police reports, witness statements, confidential files and department business transactions. 

The unidentified cybergang responsible for holding the Presque Isle Police Department data ransom has extended the time for the city to pay the ransom before leaking confidential police files to the public. Credit: Screenshot from the dark web

Originally, the extortionists gave the city 10 days to pay the ransom with a threat of leaking some of the documents. But that time clock ran out before the hackers offered additional days to meet their demands.

Currently, there are about 10 police department files already leaked onto the site and these files do contain sensitive information, such as witness phone numbers and suspect addresses. More than 15,000 have viewed the released documents on the hacker site.

The FBI does not recommend paying the ransom, and for those who do pay up, there is no guarantee the hackers will return everything or that the data is not completely corrupted.

Puckett said the investigation is ongoing.

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Kathleen Phalen Tomaselli

Kathleen Phalen Tomaselli is a reporter covering the Houlton area. Over the years, she has covered crime, investigations, health, politics and local government, writing for the Washington Post, the LA...