Ransomware Strikes 3rd Largest South Carolina School District

Ransomware hits Horry County Schools in South Carolina, locking 25 servers…

The risk of ransomware has never been higher, with the latest victim being Horry County Schools in South Carolina.  According to Myrtle Beach Online, the virus that encrypted various files came from outside of the United States, which has lead to the involvement of the federal and state government.  The virus did not cause a data breach, but has encrypted 25 servers rendering them inaccessible.  In order to obtain the encryption key the school is being ordered to pay thousands of dollars.

According to WBTW News 13, the school has gained approval to pay $8,500 to obtain the encryption key.  Unfortunately, the more times these ransoms are paid, the increased likelihood scammers will continue to strike business and personal computers alike.

In order to prevent ransomware, you need to understand how it works.  First, it gains access to your most important files and encrypts them.  This makes them inaccessible until you obtain the encryption key, or restore your computer with your backup files.  The ransomware gains access to your PC by bypassing the blacklist that most security software programs use to protect your PC.  What this means is, your security software has a list of all the known viruses, malware, and ransomware threats and prevents them from getting onto your PC.  Keeping this blacklist up to date is nearly impossible with viruses, malware, and ransomware constantly changing to become undetected.  PC Matic is the only security software with a whitelisting approach, meaning we make a list of all the good programs and only allow them to run.  This eliminates the risk of polymorphic viruses, as no matter how many times the virus changes to become undetectable to the blacklist, it will still be identified as an “unsafe” program on the whitelist.

We encourage all PC users to recognize ransomware as the growing threat it is, and to be proactive by using proper prevention methods to avoid becoming the next victim.

Check out our interactive, live map of the ransomware attacks that have taken place within the U.S. below:

Sources:

Horry County Schools approves paying computer virus ransom

http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/news/local/education/article59630221.html

 

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