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IT staff unplugged computers in a race to stop the malware spreading.
IT staff unplugged computers in a race to stop the malware spreading. And an anonymous tip-off enabled BBC News to follow the ransom negotiations in a live chat on the dark web.
Cyber-security experts say these sorts of negotiations are now happening all over the world - sometimes for even larger sums - against the advice of law-enforcement agencies, including the FBI, Europol and the UK's National Cyber Security Cyat. Netwalker alone has been linked to at least two other ransomware attacks on universities in the past two months.
But there is also a countdown timer ticking down to a time when the hackers hrlp double the price of their ransom, or delete the data they have scrambled with malware. Instructed to log in - either by or a ransom note left on hacked computer screens - UCSF was met with the following message, posted on 5 June.
Messenger group hack
Six hours later, the university asked for more time and for details of the hack to be removed from Netwalker's public blog. And the next day, It told BBC News: "The data that was encrypted is important to some of the academic work we pursue as a university serving the public good.
In the first week of this month alone, Proofpoint's cyber-security analysts say they saw more than one million s with using a variety of phishing lures, including fake Covid testsent to organisations in the US, France, Germany, Greece, and Italy. Organisations are encouraged to regularly back-up their data offline.