In November, 2016, a professor at California nursing school, Gurnick Acadamy, was attempting to access his lectures. The lectures were saved on an external storage device, which he plugged into his work PC. It was then, he realized his lectures were gone. Completely encrypted. He contacted the school’s IT department for assistance. Luckily, the IT department worked not only quickly, but precisely, to ensure the infection did not spread throughout the college.
The professor had the option to pay one bitcoin, or $740 USD for his files to be restored. He decided to forego the payment and create his lectures from scratch.
Val Paschenko, IT department manager at the school, made the following statement to CSO Online,
“For the malware, we believe that it originated on the instructor’s personal computer or elsewhere. Before this incident [the instructor] mentioned that he had experience with some virus issues on his personal computer. We think that he wasn’t able to open some files while working on his home PC and decided to give it a shot on an office PC but can’t be certain.”
To see a full list of ransomware attacks that took place 2016, you can click here. We have also created a ransomware map, see below, of the ransomware attacks that have taken place in the U.S.