Officials with the Dickson (Tenn.) County Sheriff's Office said they had to pay a ransom after malware locked them out of thousands of their case files, reports WTVF.
"Every sort of document that you could develop in an investigation was in that folder. There was a total of 72,000 files," said Detective Jeff McCliss, the agency's IT director.
McCliss said in late October, a member of the Sheriff's Office was streaming local radio station WDKN when they mistakenly clicked on a rotating ad that secretly installed vicious malware called "Cryptowall," which locked the agency out of their files unless they paid a ransom of bitcoins worth $500.
McCliss said after consulting with the TBI, FBI and even the military they realized the only way to get back their precious case files was to pay.
"It's a bad feeling. It's a very bad feeling to be the victim instead of the investigator," he said.