How Did The City Of Albany Get Hacked?
Mayor Kathy Sheehan tweeted on Saturday, March 30th that the City of Albany experienced a ransomware cyberattack. Ransomware is a common exploit that hackers use to steal confidential information for a profit. It locked the City’s computer files and demanded a ransom to release them. Right now they are trying to assess the damages caused by the data compromise.
What Is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware) designed to deny access to a computer system or data until a ransom is paid. It’s the most frequently used form of malicious computer virus today.
The U.S. National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center’s (NCCIC) has observed an increase in ransomware attacks around the world. It has infected and paralyzed hundreds of thousands of organizations, and costs businesses more than $75 Billion each year.
How Is Ransomware Spread?
Ransomware typically spreads through phishing emails or when visiting an infected website. Phishing emails are designed to appear as though they have been sent from a legitimate organization or known individual. They entice users to click on a link or open an attachment containing malicious code. After the code is run, your computer is infected with malware.
Ransomware viruses come in many forms, including:
Should We Pay The Ransom?
Any business or organization can be affected by ransomware. All it takes is for an unsuspecting user to click on a malicious link in a phishing email that contains a computer virus.
Malicious software will lock down your computer files unless you agree to pay the ransom in bitcoin. However, The FBI says that you shouldn’t pay the ransom. There’s no guarantee that you’ll recover your files if you do.
What Should We Do To Protect Our Business From Ransomware?
The best way to protect your business is to prevent ransomware from landing on your computers in the first place. Along with this, you must provide Security Awareness Training for your users so they know how to avoid being tricked by phishing emails that contain malware.
The NCCIC recommends that you take these precautions to protect users against the threat of ransomware. This is a long list of things to do, and you may need help from your IT professional, but it’s worth taking the time and effort to complete.
Have questions? Our team is here to answer any questions about your computer and network security. Call (518) 587-1565 or drop us an email.