Danish news agency rejects ransom demand after hacker attack

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) —

Denmark’s biggest news agency will stay offline for at least another day following a hacking attack this week and has rejected a ransom demand by hackers to release locked data, the wire service said Wednesday.

Ritzau CEO Lars Vesterloekke couldn’t say how big the ransom demand was because those behind the “professional attack” had left “a file with a message” that the agency didn’t open following instructions from its advisers.

Ritzau, which delivers text and photos to Danish media, said it had transferred its emergency distribution to clients to six live blogs “which provide a better overview.”

“If it goes as expected, then we can gradually be back to normal on Thursday,” said Vesterloekke, adding that the attack has forced the editorial systems to be shut down as about a quarter of Ritzau ’s 100 servers have been damaged.

On top of the agency’s own IT department, Ritzau has hired an external security company that specializes in cleaning up after hacker attacks, and its insurance company was assisting with specialists.

It was not known who was behind the attack that started Tuesday.

Since 1866, Copenhagen-based Ritzau has distributed information and produced news for Danish media, organizations and companies.

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