Florence, Ala. Was Hit by Ransomware – Are You A Target For Ransomware Too?
Businesses, universities, and local governments have spent over $144 million because of the most significant ransomware incursions of 2020, so far. Statistics show that businesses suffer a ransomware attack every 11 seconds. These attacks will cause damages worth $20 billion by 2021.
Businesses have been reaching out to Outsource IT Solutions Group to get expert help defending against ransomware. Outsource IT Solutions Group is a leading IT consulting, networking, and IT solutions company in Naperville. This article will help your organization understand the nature of ransomware and how to prepare for a future attack.
What Happened In Florence, Ala.?
KrebsOnSecurity alerted officials in Florence, Ala. that hackers had infiltrated their IT systems in late May. These attackers specialize in deploying ransomware.
Twelve days later, the intruders attacked and demanded around $300,000 worth of Bitcoin. Officials were planning to pay the ransom as they could not let the attackers publish people’s data on the internet. About 40,000 people live in Florence.
KrebsOnSecurity received the tip from Hold Security. The company acted on it and tried to alert the mayor’s office. Attackers used details of the city’s Manager of Information Systems to commandeer a Windows 10 system in the city’s network.
Despite several failed attempts, one of the city’s IT staff received the message. She thanked KrebsOnSecurity for the warning and said that they had isolated the flagged network account. The System Administrator said they had everything under control, and they had different protocols.
Despite the System Administrator’s assurances, the city’s Mayor, Steve Holt reported that a cyberattack had paralyzed the city’s email system. He initially said there were no indications that the attack involved ransomware, but later confirmed that DoppelPaymer was extorting Florence. DoppelPaymer is a notorious ransomware gang that has received some of the highest ransomware payments across many ransomware families.
The Mayor said the group attacked Florence and another municipality that he declined to mention. DoppelPaymer demanded 39 Bitcoins — around $378,000. The mayor’s office hired an outside company that negotiated the ransom to 30 Bitcoins — about $291,000. The gang threatened to publish or sell data it stole before launching the ransomware if the city did not pay.
Florence’s approach to ransomware is like those of many entities. The IT team may have thought that simple preparation measures would do enough to protect them from a ransomware attack. Attackers can keep control even as the firm that is a victim of ransomware restores their systems from backups. They can be in your network long before launching their attack.
How Can Your Organization Defend Against Ransomware?
Timing and precision are critical approaches to dealing with ransomware. Comprehensive investigations of the events, based on the evidence, is essential. Specialists give your company the best chance of coping with or avoiding ransomware.
Common Types of Ransomware:
- Scareware, meant to intimidate the victim into performing specific tasks
- Locker Ransomware, which locks the system such that victims cannot access it unless they pay the ransom showed by a text
- Doxware, which threatens to upload sensitive information, personal identification details, and financial information to the internet if the victim does not pay the ransom
- Crypto Ransomware, which lurks through the computer or network looking for vital data for the user and threatens to make them disappear if the victim does not pay the ransom
10 Ways You Can Prevent Ransomware Attacks
- You need to take measures to reduce your vulnerability to ransomware attacks. Do not wait to be a victim before taking steps to deal with ransomware.
- Install ransomware protection software and have some files as bait to help you detect ransomware attacks early
- Back up your data in local servers and in the cloud to prevent your data from falling into the wrong hands or retrieve them if attackers try to ransom you
- Configure stronger network access restrictions, which will limit attackers’ freedom in your system
- Install antivirus with ransomware detection capabilities and ensure it is operational and up-to-date
- Train your staff to detect errors that can lead to ransomware attacks and act against them
- Ensure users of your network have strong, varying passwords for their access
- Block unknown email ID on your mail server
- Disable vulnerable plugins or update them regularly if you have to use them
- Monitor file extensions of documents you receive.
How Outsource IT Solutions Group Can Help Protect You From Ransomware Attacks
Outsource IT Solutions Group (OSG) is a reliable IT service and IT support company offering services in the Chicagoland Area. We keep up-to-date with changes in the technology world to ensure you are getting the best services. Our services include IT support, technical support, and managed IT consulting services. We have a qualified team that provides the IT support you need to pursue and attain your organizational objectives.
Attackers continue to develop their scheme of deploying and extorting money using ransomware. Companies struggle to keep up with developments. Companies often consult OSG because they know we can keep their systems safe from ransomware attacks. We offer affordable services and can guarantee value for money. Our employees tailor solutions to ensure your organization has the protection it needs against ransomware attacks.
Are You Ready to Protect Your Company from Ransomware Attacks?
Attackers are perfecting their scheme of launching ransomware to get companies to pay a ransom. Companies that do not take measures to defend themselves lose money, data, or suffer reputational damage.
You need expert services to deal with the sophisticated ransomware attackers use today. Outsource IT Solutions Group offers the protection you need to prevent ransomware attacks. Our reliable services can help you focus on pursuing your organizational goals.
Click here to get started or call us at (630) 701-3393.