The law enforcement officials in Australia’s Queensland area have warned businesses in and around the region not to secure their computer network and not to pay any ransom in case of any cyber attacks on their systems. The warning was issued after the computers at one of the multinational companies in Brisbane was hacked for ransom.
An unidentified company in Brisbane was apparently hacked into by cyber criminals earlier this year. The hackers after gaining access into the system had stolen sensitive data and demanded ransom in return. The hackers had insisted the company to pay ransom in Bitcoin, amounting to about $14000, which the company ended up paying.
The company, whose name wasn’t mentioned to the press approached the authorities after the hackers demanded for more ransom. Things took a nasty turn when the hackers, upon realizing that the company has approached the cops, started threatening the family members of one their senior employees.
According to Queensland police, they are currently working closely with international authorities to identify the criminals behind it. Meanwhile assistant commissioner Brian Hay has urged the businesses to have contingencies in place to counteract such threats against their computer systems and never to comply with extortion demands. He has also asked the organizations to carefully consider the kind of information they post on their social media channels.
Hackers and cyber criminals have made Bitcoin their currency of choice due to a certain degree of anonymity associated with it. Transactions with Bitcoin is much easier and hard to trace when compared to fiat currency. There have been many instances so far where these cybercriminals use ransomware to encrypt the contents on an infected computer. They will then ask the affected user to pay anywhere between 1-3 BTCs for the decryption key. These ransomware have affected individuals, companies and governments alike.
It is always advisable for individuals and businesses to follow the best practices for managing and storing information. Creating regular backups of important information on to offline storage media, having an updated security software and not interacting with unknown mails or messages can keep one safe from many such attacks.
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