FBI investigates new strain of ransomware wreaking havoc

by | Apr 4, 2016 | Security

There is a new strain of ransomware — and the US government needs your help.

According to Reuters, the FBI is seeking help from US firms as it investigates a new strain of ransomware. In case you haven’t been tuning into the news, cyber crime is at an all-time high. Ransomware is just one of the hot trends to wreak havoc. The premise behind the malware is simple; it encrypts data on infected machines and then asks for money before restoring access to information.

In the past, individual machines were infected. However, there is a new strain of ransomware called MSIL/Samas that tries to encrypt data across entire networks rather than single computers–and the FBI needs all the help it can get to find the victims.

According to Cisco there is currently an epidemic, targeting firms involved in healthcare. Early versions of the malware charged a ransom of one bitcoin for every machine, but the ransom has now increased to 1.5 bitcoins. The orchestrator of the attack is clearly testing to see how much someone or one company will pay for their data. According to Cisco security analyst Nick Biasini, “They have even added an option for bulk decryption of 22 bitcoin to decrypt all infected systems.”

So, what can your business do to help safeguard your business? Follow these 3 simple tips.

1. Direct all technical needs to your IT Department.
Don’t allow users to be installing updates, applications or making any sort of changes to their workstation or the network. Employees are one of the largest sources of malware infections so make sure they understand the risk of malware and direct ant technology needs to the IT Department.

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2. Verify and re-verify.

Never offer up any information until you verify that person is who they say they are. Scammers are getting smarter and smarter. When in doubt, make sure you refer to rule #1.

3. Do NOT provide credentials that aren’t password protected or encrypted.

Try to avoid sending account and password information electronically. If it is unavoidable, make sure that you encrypt or password-protect any access credentials. Click to learn more about encryption from PCWorld.

For more help in protecting your business against the new strain of ransomware and other breaches, contact Invenio IT.

Tracy Rock is the Director of Marketing at Invenio IT. Tracy is responsible for all media-related initiatives as well as external communications—including, branding, public relations, promotions, advertising and social media. She is one busy lady and we are lucky to have her!

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