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A California university which is dedicated solely to public health research has paid a $1.14m ransom to a criminal gang in the hopes of regaining access to its data.

The University of California San Francisco (UCSF) paid out in the apparently successful hope that the Netwalker group would send it a decryption utility for its illicitly encrypted files, which it referred to as "data ... important to some of the academic work we pursue as a university serving the public good". A negotiator acting on behalf of UCSF was said to have opened the bidding for the decryptor at $780,000, according to the BBC which claimed that an "anonymous tipoff" allowed it to "follow the ransom negotiations in a live chat on the dark web".