Beware of ransomware attacks

Sydney business attacked by ransomware

Don’t be held to ransom by hackers

A small business in my neighbourhood was locked out of their network by hackers last week. The small business of 12 people was prevented from getting access to their own network unless it paid a $3000 ransom demand.

The hackers had used a form of malware (malicious software) known as Ransomware. The hackers had downloaded the ransomware onto the servers and encrypted the network, which stopped the business getting access to their vital financial records.

The hackers had demanded an immediate ransom payment of $3000 which would increase by $1000 for every week that the business did not pay.

This week the company’s employees are still sitting around waiting for their IT company to decipher the encryption. No work is getting done.

The hackers who are thought to be based in Eastern Europe have made similar attacks on a number of Queensland businesses. The police advise people to report this type of crime to them straight away.

How to prevent ransomware attacks

This could have been prevented if the business had taken some basic steps to protect their network from attack:

»  Make sure your staff are made aware of the danger of malicious software and malicious website links and are careful when using the internet and emails

»  Use an appropriate IT network security solution that uses real-time anti-virus software, email scanning, real-time website protection, software and hardware firewalls, network intrusion detection and network monitoring technology

»  Make sure all your servers are regularly updated to the latest version of your security software package

»  Perform regular back-ups of you non-infected systems and data

»  Make sure all computers on your network are regularly updated with their internet security packages

»  Use secure internet browsers across the network

For more information about safe computing contact The Vault Corporation.