Help, hackers shut down the company

Wilson owns a trading company. The company has 15 employees. At the end of last year, his company was shut down by hackers. The computers were acting "weird" on Monday. Wilson found a strange text message. "It said we had been taken hostage, and all of our files had been encrypted with ransomware," says Wilson.

"It feels like someone is holding a digital gun to your head"

The message contained instructions on how to release his company from this ransomware situation. Wilson had to pay $ 10,000. Wilson's first reaction: “I'm not crazy, I’m not paying that!” It turned out to be a type of ransomware that was still unknown. That meant it would take a few weeks before the ransomware could be decrypted. When it turned out that the backup server, which contained copies of all the company’s files, had been attacked as well, that was the final straw for us.

Wilson: “Our company would be shut down for weeks. We couldn’t access any of our files. So, I decided to pay anyway. After that, all I could do was hope they would decrypt our files again. Luckily, that did happen. They sent us a message with a thumbs up. I was furious.”

Held hostage through ransomware, what should I do?

Anyone who becomes the victim of ransomware should visit immediately. This website, an initiative of the Dutch police, Europol and various ICT companies, contains a simple program that recognizes the ransomware and determines whether there’s a "key" available to undo the encryption. Of course, it’s even better to take measures before you become a victim. Educate staff members about cybercrime on a regular basis. You could provide cybersecurity awareness training for example. In addition, it’s crucial to make copies of every important file (create a backup) and store these separately from the main computer. That way you can still access your files in case your main computer system ever gets infected with ransomware.

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Sayonara Tiel
ENNIA Corporate Insurance Specialist