“Payment was made successfully.”

The disturbing statement blinked at me from the computer screen. I felt sick and grateful at the same time. At least it was over.
It all started with an email. I should have known it was a phishing attempt, but in the rush of the day, I didn’t look closely enough. The email said I had to update my credentials for our ERP account. First, I had to “validate” my current credentials by entering them into the login screen.

After hitting “send,” the screen went black.

I rebooted my PC and the first screen I saw was a message in green text: “Welcome to LockerLock. Your files have been taken. We will keep them secure for 48 hours only. Cost of release: $100,000 USD.”

Next Steps
I was shocked and confused. Before clicking on anything else, I sped into the neighboring office. My coworker was rebooting her computer and said her PC had frozen.

One long and painful conference later, the office leadership confirmed that we had been hit by a ransomware attack. The price to release our files was $100,000.

Instructions came from the hackers. They explained how to access the dark web and how to initiate a cryptocurrency transfer.

The whole process seemed to drag on after only a day had passed. Every client that called in had to be told something, but our customer service wasn’t able to tell them much. Our hourly staff was left with so little to do that they started organizing the office…it’s never been so clean before or since.

My story isn’t unique, and my story isn’t the last. Malware comes in many forms and hackers are always a step ahead of the rest.

Malware
There are many types of malware, and ransomware is one of them. New-age malware uses advanced capabilities to spread through encrypted files while evading detection. Pre-built infrastructures are used to easily distribute malware to a growing number of devices.

New techniques like offline encryption methods are becoming popular, too, allowing malware makers to take advantage of legitimate systems like Microsoft.

Today, all businesses are at risk. Over half a million instances of malware are detected every day and there are more than 1 billion active programs threatening consumers and businesses right now.

Every 60 seconds, another four companies fall victim to ransomware attacks. That doesn’t even include the other kinds of malware.

If you don’t have malware protection, in another 60 seconds your time could be up. Talk to us about proactive IT services and take your security to the next level. Start the conversation with TimbukTech today.