Modern Tire Dealer

APR 2017

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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MTD March 2017 Ransomware incidents involving so-called 'drive-by' ransomware, where users can infect their computers simply by clicking on a compromised website, oen lured there by a deceptive email or pop-up window. "Another new trend involves the ransom payment method. While some of the earlier ransomware scams involved hav- ing victims pay 'ransom' with pre-paid cards, victims are now increasingly asked to pay with Bitcoin, a decentralized virtual currency network that aracts criminals because of the anonymity the system offers." To pay or not to pay It was a day he will never forget. "I came into the store and none of the computers were able to sign on to the server," said the tire dealer. "So I went back to the server and logged in. ere was a message on the screen that said my server had been encrypted, and to get it unlocked I needed to write to an obscure email address for more info. "I immediately called anyone I knew in IT who would take my phone call, including my regular IT guy, who was on vacation. All of the feedback was not good. It was 'pay what they ask for' or 'pull the server off-line and refresh it as new.' "I decided on the laer. I wouldn't pay." e dealer was lucky. He had only been using the new system for a short time, so he didn't lose much information. "It was prey mundane stuff anyway," he said. "e data I collected wasn't harmful. It was not like collecting social security numbers or blood types or financial information." What he did not do was contact law enforcement. e FBI, Central Intel- ligence Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, and the National Security Agency, among others, consider this a mistake. "We strongly encourage you to contact a local field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or U.S. Secret Service immediately upon discovery to report a ransomware event and request assistance," says the U.S. government in an interagency technical guidance docu- ment, "How to Protect Your Networks from Ransomware" (https://www. download). "Law enforcement may be able to use legal authorities and tools that are unavailable to most organizations. Law enforcement can enlist the assistance of international law enforcement partners to locate the stolen or encrypted data or identify the perpetrator. ese tools and relationships can greatly increase the odds of successfully apprehending the criminal, thereby preventing future losses." ere are serious risks to consider before paying the ransom, according to the document. • Paying the ransom does not guarantee access to your data once the ransom is paid. • Paying the ransom opens the door to future aacks because the aackers know you will pay. Quik-Link: 800-687-1557 ext. 14112 26

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