BITCOIN:Watch out, now the Dark Web has a currency

The “Dark Web” is the alternate internet where underworld hackers, anarchists and cyber criminals hang out to swap or sell stolen information and remote exploit tools.  CRYPTOLOCKER is a trojan that has been designed to encrypt files and demand a ransom.  It can be purchased on the dark web as a Ransomware  “package” that can be sent to thousands of unsuspecting users via a purchased SPAM list.

Motivated by monetary gain, hackers are turning to direct extortion as a way of getting rich by demanding payment using the untraceable currency called BITCOIN.

We are seeing an unprecedented surge in all manner of Ransomware SPAM targeting all users within organisations.  Australia Post parcels, RTA Speeding Fines, Fedex non-delivery reports to name just a few.

If you are hit with a Ransomware virus and don’t have an alternative way to recover your data, then you will be in the unenviable position of having to decide between accepting total data loss or paying a criminal between US$1,000 and US$2,000 with no guarantee they would “honour” your payment.  We of course strongly advise against this course of action.

The following tips may just help you to recover or better yet avoid these attacks completely:

Our 6 Tips

  1. Adopt a “WHEN” not “IF” strategy.  Have your recovery strategy tested and ready.
  2. Educate all Users about the risks of clicking on links and downloading dubious content.
  3. Ensure Backups are not accessible from an infected workstation or Server.  Modern day Ransomware attacks, actively seek out backups and removes them.
  4. Copy backup data “one-way” to an offsite facility so even in a total site compromise, the off site data is safe.
  5. Ideally utilise a backup strategy that involves taking multiple daily “snapshots”.  For some people losing even half a day of productivity is unthinkable.
  6. Regularly review and audit your site backup strategy.

In conclusion these tips will help you avoid common mistakes users make in their day to day exposure to online criminals.

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