On Wednesday, three Gold Coast businesses called our IT & Data Security provider Insane Technologies to report their systems had been attacked and their critical business files have been locked. This was all in the space of 2 hours!

We spoke with David Ruddock from Insane Technologies regarding the nature of the attacks –

The two variants of ransomware that had taken over their systems were CryptoLocker (one of the earlier versions of ransomware) and Locky (one of the newer versions, delivered in Microsoft Word .doc, .docx and even .rtf files).

Ransomware encrypts your files and then asks you to pay a ransom to recover your files.

If you don't have a backup, your ONLY OPTION is to pay the ransom. For some businesses, it may sometimes be cheaper (due to the time it would take to restore the files, loss of income, downtime etc.) to just pay the ransomware. However, some ransomware will then only unlock certain parts of your data demanding you pay more to release more files.

As a result of this simple logic, many ransomware victims just pay the ransom and don't report the crime. As payments are made by the anonymous crypto-currency Bitcoin, the risk of being caught for criminals is very small.

These two factors make ransomware a very attractive and lucrative income generator for organised criminals!! 

As organised cyber crime is becoming more sophisticated, it's getting harder for individuals to spot the crime before it takes hold - This is why prevention is key!  If you're unsure if your systems are safe, we have made a available a Business IT System Fundamentals checklist created by Insane Technologies available on our website.

If you're concerned about the safety of your company data, contact David immediately on (07) 5539-6116 to book a Data Protection & Cyber Security Health Check (POA).

If you would like to receive regular safety and information updates from Insane you can like their Facebook page or subscribe to their mailing list.