FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — Just within the new year, cyber officials are warning consumers about an uptick in ransomware attacks.
Cyber criminals are taking the new year by storm with tactful ransomware attacks. Not only do these criminals play on your fear, but they also have new targets like small business.
“A local company that had 300 employees shut down right before Christmas because they got hit with ransomware and were not able to recover their data,” Chuck Sperati said, the director of compliance, media, and special projects at Clark Computer Services.
Ransomware is a multi billion dollar industry. It’s not just one criminal that you’re dealing with, its multiple. What people don’t know is that a step by step process is taken to get a hold of your personal data.
“You have your hackers sending this information out, you get hit with it , it goes to a third party, and the third party then tries to collect the money on it. Now, the first time they collect money on it they are collecting for that hacker they’re looking for people who will pay over and over again, Sperati said.
Cyber officials say the most important thing for consumers is awareness. Majority of the time ransomware attacks are embedded in emails, so paying attention to the headers and content of emails is crucial.
“Don’t trust links. There are so many times where you look into your spam folder where you will see PayPal, Amazon, Netflix, they’re using their logos they make it look good,” Sperati said.
Cyber officials say the biggest issue they see is people giving in to scare tactics. Consumers are urged to download to latest anti virus software to help deter criminals.