There have been a massive increase of ransomware attacks that have been spreading across the globe. Some have completely paralyzed business options. While ransomware is only one form that is burden, cyber criminals are finding more and more ways to disrupt businesses and add to unbudgeted expenses.
They are coming in all forms, and not just emails!
Our office had our phones hacked from a group when they called random phone numbers till they found an automated answering system. Once they established we had a automated phone system, they kept dialing phone extensions until they found one that did not have a password to access. Once that was accomplished - they redirected phone calls thru that extension to overseas phone calls. We were able to catch and shut it down within 30 minutes, but the criminals had racked up over $250 of phone charges in the middle of the night. Had we not caught this, it could have been thousands of dollars of expense....and no, the phone company didn't waive the fees!
A local school system had a suspicious email that went out to all the teachers from the school administrator - by the time the school IT people caught what had happened teachers had already mistakenly open their email and the virus was in the system causing havoc and disruption to the day. In fact the cyber criminals had infected the Google search for the school. When you searched for the school and clicked the link for their website, the ransomware infected your computer.
Common way ransomware hits is thru a well-designed phishing campaign that comes in a variety of email messages. Complete with legitimate logos and notices of shipment status, status of your accounts, flight itinerary notice, and more. But, the all have one thing in common - the email ends with wording referencing a password for the attached Word document. We also see hyper links to get more information too.
DO NOT OPEN THESE EMAILS. If you receive any unfamiliar email, it's best to permanently delete it. Once you click on the attachment, a program encrypts specific files on your computer and demands a payment by Bitcoin, a virtual currency. After the initial infection, it spreads to other systems within the network that haven't applied the latest Microsoft patches. This secondary infection is causing the majority of the issues you are hearing about in news reports.
How to avoid an attack.
Concerned on how to protect your business - contact one of our agents for more info.