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A College Just Paid Ransomware to Hackers

A College Just Paid Ransomware to Hackers

Cyber crime for 2017 is off to a start as a college just paid ransomware to hackers after they lost control of their network to cyber criminals.

In a recent statement, the Los Angeles Community College District has paid $28,000 in bitcoin to the cyber criminals.  The hackers gain control of a huge number of computer files after ransomware malware encrypted them. The college was lucky that it had a cyber security policy in place to pay the ransomware demand.

According to the college, there was no data breach and they cybercriminals were only interested in a payout of the ransom. The college felt they had little choice but to pay the ransom.  After paying the ransom, the digital key was sent to unlock their files.

The FBI has stated that paid ransomware hit $1 billion in 2016 which was a huge increase from $24 million paid in 2015.

How do you protect your business from ransomware and protect your business?

  • Have a real disaster recovery plan in place with onsite and offsite cloud backups.
  • Do not use a local USB drive for local backups as Ransomware tends to encrypt everything including USB drives.
  • Use a dedicated backup software and network attached storage (NAS) appliance.

As many may remember that back in 2016, a Hollywood hospital pay out $17,000 to hackers in return for an access key.  Another hospital was in a similar named Kansas Heart Hospital paid the ransomware however the criminals demanded additional payment.

The three strategies are not meant to be exhaustive and are not necessarily suitable for all organizations however all organizations need to address ransomware and evaluate good robust backup strategies.

Is your company protected from ransomware? Our complimentary network and security assessment can put you to the test.

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