Recently people and businesses have been receiving false emails from legitimate organizations like the RCMP, Canadian Police Association, Public Safety Canada, and Canadian Security Intelligence Services (CSIS) to only end up becoming a victim of Ransomware. Reports have stated that some police stations, government offices and law firm victims of Ransomware have paid the ransom in an effort to recover their data. Cyber criminals are more innovative with their attacks on Canadians, disguising themselves as a legitimate organization to attack their targets. Appthority (Mobile App Risk Management & Data Security) reports that Android Koler is a virus being used as one of the first versions of mobile Ransomware to specifically target Canadians on Android devices. Learn if you are in danger of Ransomware.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malware (virus) that gives cyber criminals access to your computer and files. They take these hostage through the use of a form of encryption. They will display a message that demands payment (ie. Ransom); in order for the encryption to be removed to regain access to your files.
The two most common means of infection appear to be phishing emails that contain malicious attachments and website pop-up advertisements. If your operating system, web browser, or devices are unpatched or out-of-date you are at risk of letting this virus through. It is as simple as visiting a website, the virus appears in a pop-up or you click a link that looks safe but ends up being malware. You need to make sure your devices and systems are protected and backed up.
If this happens to you we suggest:
- Do not pay the ransom; the cyber criminals usually want payment in Bitcoins in a short amount of time, 12-72 hours, and the process is complicated
- Public Safety Canada advises not to pay; you might not get your files back or it could take days for the decryption process to complete
- Contact a reputable computer technician or specialist to find out whether your computer can be repaired and your data restored
- Report the incident to your local police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
Are you in Danger of Ransomware? Learn how can you protect your devices:
- Safeguard your devices by having the most current and fully patched operating system, office suite, and web browser
- Protect your devices and systems with a powerful and up-to-date anti-malware software
- Regularly complete a full backup of all your devices, with proper version and integrity checking, that is not directly connected to your computer
- Do not open any email attachments you are not expecting or are unsure about. Do not click on unknown ads or links on websites you are unfamiliar with.
Be aware of the situation and be proactive to protect yourself and your business of the danger of Ransomware. If you are unsure how to go about backing up your devices or what anti-malware to use please give us a call at 1-866-320-0011. You will be able to rest easy knowing your information is being backed up safely and regularly with our Managed Backup Service, as well as getting real time protection with our Webroot Antivirus Solution.
For more information on Ransomware:
Public Safety Canada Get Cyber Safe
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre