Major Florida City Paralyzed by Ransomware

 

Another city was attacked by ransomware, and this time the city was left paralyzed…

The City of Sarasota, Florida was left crippled after a ransomware attack hit this month.  The City’s computers were down for over a day before they were able to get their systems back up and running.

The ransomware variant was not disclosed; however it was reported the attack originated from a malicious email.  The ransomware demanded an undisclosed amount for payment in order to receive an encryption key.  According to WWSB ABC 7, the City did not make the payment and were able to recover their files on their own.

If you find yourself a victim of ransomware, PC Matic encourages users to take the following steps:

  1. Do not pay the ransom – If you do, you’re just giving the hackers a reason to keep hacking.  Use your back up files to restore your systems.  Again, don’t pay!!
  2. Inform the FBI – By informing the FBI they can investigate to potentially bring legal action against the hacker.  All cyber criminal activity should be reported to the federal IC3 agency.  You can file a complaint with them here.
  3. Notify your current security software company – You also MUST inform your security software company.  If they didn’t know they missed a malicious attack, they cannot stop it in the future.  Also, many anti-virus software companies share their blacklist, or the list of known bad files.  So by sharing it with your software company, they then share it with others; saving thousands of people from falling victim to the same attack that just got you.
  4. Educate yourselves and your employees – Many times we attend one training, or listen to one webinar and consider ourselves educated on the matter.  This cannot be further from the truth.  Continued education on current cyber security threats is imperative.  We recommend our friends at KnowBe4 for both personal and enterprise training on cyber security.  As always, all PC Matic home security subscribers are offered a free cyber security training through KnowBe4 as well.
  5. Reevaluate your security software protection – If your security software failed you, perhaps you should look for an alternative security option.  The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) strongly advises using a whitelist security technology.  For personal uses, PC Matic home protection offers superior protection with advanced whitelisting technology.  For enterprise use, there is PC Matic Pro, which offers advanced security protection with proprietary whitelisting technology.

To find a full listing of ransomware attacks that have occurred in 2016, click here.

We have also generated an interactive map that includes all of the ransomware attacks within the United States that have occurred this year. 

 

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