“Hackers are preying upon the average person and business …”

Ransomware is affecting our customers finances. They have risen to over $1,000 in 2016, up from $300 a year earlier in 2015.

The hackers spreading ransomware are seeing opportunity, “Hackers are preying upon the average person and business who doesn’t take backup and business continuity seriously”, Chartrand says.

At A Laptop Shoppe we have been detecting more ransomware infection attempts. In 2016, the figure jumped by 40 percent from 2015.

As a data recovery company many new customers are arriving at our door. Ransomware is notorious for taking over computers, and essentially holding them ransom. To do so, the malicious program encrypts all the files in their computers, and then demands a fee, usually in bitcoin which needs to be deposited in a bitcoin machine at a local restaurant, in exchange for releasing the files.

Industry professionals report that 36 percent of victims do pay the ransom. However, of those who pay only 45 percent reported getting their files back.

In 2016, consumers made up 75% of all ransomware infections, with the remainder targeting large corporations.

What can we do…

Fortunately for our managed service home and business clients, we provide solutions which prevent them from being affected by these hackers, we call it a business continuity solution, we restore our customer that has the solution within 20 minutes, to 1 hour before the attack, not having to submit to these blackmailing hackers.

Helping to fuel the ransomware boom is the digital black market, where hackers can sell ransomware kits as little as $10 and as much as $2000, making it easier for other enterprising hackers to join in.

“Fortunately, ransomware attacks are not easily avoided, although consumers should be suspicious around email spam, which remains the popular way for hackers to spread ransomware, hackers send emails with attachments that can covertly download the ransomware software onto the customers computer, when the emails are opened they would receive a spam email designed to appear like an invoice or receipt from a company, to prevent the infections, keep the operating system and programs as well as hardware drivers up to date, including servers, hackers spread ransomware to businesses by compromising the server through an unpatched vulnerability”, Chartrand says.

Chartrand also advises users to delete any suspicious-looking emails, especially those that contain attachments or any links.

If a ransomware attack does strike, businesses can avoid repercussions by implementing a business continuity solution.

To defend your pictures documents and all your precious files from being ransomed, or if you or someone you know is on this situation, contact Mike at 403-990-0362 from A laptop Shoppe in Calgary.


Author:  Mike Chartrand, C.E.T.

Having served in the Military on the F-18 Hornets in West Germany during the Cold War, Mike puts what he learned to good use by helping Small Business with All types of Data Recovery in Calgary at his store located at 3 2280 39 Avenue NE Calgary. If you have any questions he can be reached at 403-274-5190.