Ransomware Attack on NC Government Agencies

A recent Associated Press article highlights some of the harsh realities of getting infected with ransomware. The article talks about how Mecklenburg County, North Carolina government agencies recently fell victim to a serious ransomware attack and lost the ability to use most of their computer systems.nc-government-ransomware-attack-blog-post-image The day-to-day operations of the county came to a screeching halt because of the attack and the basic services of the county had to be performed by hand and in-person. This attack could have been much worse if the county didn’t have a good backup solution. Luckily the county had recent backups of their computer systems and important files and were able to restore their IT services without having to pay the ransom fee.

You never know when or how you might be infected with ransomware. A system can become infected by means as simple as visiting a legitimate website that happens to contain an infected advertisement – the average computer user would have no idea that anything out of the ordinary was happening until it was too late. Once on your system, ransomware encrypts your personal files so they are not able to be accessed without a decryption key. The cyber criminals that distributed the ransomware will then attempt to sell you the decryption key, but only if you pay them in an untraceable, purely digital form of currency, the most popular kind being Bitcoin, such that their chances of being caught are extremely low. The best tool that users have against ransomware attacks is to implement and regularly monitor the functionality of a rotational backup solution to ensure that they always have backup copies of important files that are beyond the reach of Internet based attackers. Running high quality anti-virus software is also helpful, but is no substitute for the backup system.

If you would like assistance with implementing a rotational backup solution, or if you have any questions about other backup solutions or ransomware attacks, feel free to contact one of our friendly IT support technicians at (920) 569-2681. If you live in the greater Green Bay / De Pere area, you can stop in and see us for some advice at our office located at 400 Reid Street in De Pere, WI.