“You Hacked, All Data Encrypted” was the message on computer systems through the San Francisco Municipal Transportation System, known as MUNI, after a piece of malicious software got on their network. The screen left by the hackers included an e-mail address to supposedly contact for the decryption key. Reports say the hackers were asking for $70,000.00 to return the systems to normal. Because of the attack, MUNI decided to disable all ticketing machines and open the gates, giving everyone free rides on Friday and part of Saturday. This was their action to ensure the protection of consumers using credit/debit cards.
These ‘ransomware’ attacks are becoming more and more popular in recent years. In this type of attack a virus is the usual means of delivery, causing the users data to be encrypted, demanding a payment from the user in an untraceable cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, for the decryption key. Many of these viruses are starting to go a step farther and threatening to delete the encrypted data if they are not paid within a specific timeframe. Many security and anti-virus firms are suggesting to implement frequent backup solution and to refuse payment.
As of Sunday, MUNI had the root cause removed and their system restored and back to normal. They immediately contacted Homeland and the FBI who are conducting an investigation.
As a fellow small business owner and operator, I have a myriad of backup solutions in place. As an example, running a server, all of my machines synchronize the user’s data and profile with the server, when on the local network. Also, the server, workstation and portable machines are performing nightly backups to a cloud based server. In the event I lose both my server and all my workstation/laptop data sets, I still have the backups to restore from. Static data, such as installation CD/DVD images, are not included in the backups, as that data can be retrieved easily enough.
When hospitals (http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/healthcare-information-technology/hospitals-are-hit-with-88-of-all-ransomware-attacks.html) and small businesses (http://www.inc.com/carbonite/surviving-a-ransomware-attack.html) are the primary targets for these attack, are you ready for what it will take to protect your systems and ensure your data is retrievable?
If you are ready to protect your data, the most critical asset of your business, reach out, today to Indy’s I.T. Department at 317-560-4443 for a free, no risk evaluation of your data exposure and protection systems.