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Monday, 1 February 2016

Data Hijacking

Recently a system called Ransomware has come to light; this relies on a Trojan which encrypts the receiver’s data with a very complicated password, typically 40 + characters long.  The criminal offers to sell the password to the receiver for a relatively small sum usually $100 or so but this must be paid in bitcoins.  Once the sum has been paid the password is sent to the receiver to decrypt the data.  Sadly some of the criminals do not send the password but then ask for a bigger sum of money.

I cannot stress enough the importance of keeping good back-ups which can enable a user to revert to a previous backup set which is not encrypted.  Many companies are targeted by these ransomware threats and it has become apparent that many have simply paid up.

The criminals are getting bolder by the day and the latest notification was from Lincolnshire County Council who received a ransom demand for a million pounds. The Council are working with a security company to clear the infection from their systems and revert to a clean backup.  The police are trying to identify the source of the ransom. The criminals are clever enough to cover their tracks under layers of security but we can hope that they slip up and are brought to justice.

At Quality Matters we have more than one back up of data and up to date antivirus and anti- malware systems in use but we are not complacent.  Vigilance is our byword. Security is a moving target and must be reviewed regularly.

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