Online threat holds data for ransom - WNEM TV 5

I-Team

Online threat holds data for ransom

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FENTON, MI (WNEM) -

It's like dealing with the modern day mafia – online extortion known as ''ransom ware.'' 

It can cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars.  Just ask Dustin Jeffers.

“Somebody from our order entry department called us and said they didn't have access to certain files, or something is wrong with them and I did some investigating and found some extra files that were not supposed to be there...and I knew...oh this isn't good,” Jeffers said.

Knowing that his business was in trouble – and thousands of documents may be lost forever – Ben Banks from Alpha & Omega technology was the person he called.

They were infected with Cryptoware, a ransome-ware virus which went through and encrypted about one-third of their company data.

Jeffers said that hacker wanted over a thousand dollars to recover the encrypted data.

Luckily they had a plan.

“We were able to isolate where the infection had come from, stop it in its tracks, remove it from the network and then recover their data, using their back up data,” Banks said.

According to Banks and his associates, the best way to avoid scams like this is to not go on illegitimate websites or open suspicious emails. Always get computer updates and be on the lookout for new and up and coming scams.

“The best way to be safe on the internet is to go to places that you feel safe being at,” Banks said.

Another note from Banks is to always have a back-up hard drive. That way if something does happen like this, you are prepared.

In the end, the problem was resolved and all Jeffers had to pay was the cost of restoring his files. Which was a drop in the bucket compared to what the hacker had demanded.

“The amount of damage that stuff can do, and how quickly it attacks you, it's pretty amazing,” Jeffers said.

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