BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – Cybersecurity experts are reminding people and businesses how they can protect themselves after what many are calling the largest ransomware attack ever.
A Russian-based cyber-criminal group called ‘R-Evil’ is demanding a $70 million ransom after hitting the IT company software company, Kaseya. The group infected some of its customers that rely on the network management system. The attack affects hundreds of businesses, including financial service firms and a European grocery chain.
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Jeff Hanson, president of Trust I.T. in Baton Rouge, said people make one common mistake when it comes to protecting their data.
“A lot of people make the mistake of thinking cybercriminals aren’t interested in them or their data but anybody who has data, it has value to them,” said Hanson. “The cyberattackers recognize this. So, they’re attacking anybody with data knowing they’re going to pay them.”
That’s why Hanson added the best offense against an attack is a great defense.
He said you should first invest in a quality backup for all of your information and turn on any two-step verification on all your accounts. Now, if all else fails and you still get hacked, Hanson said you should turn off your internet. He pointed out pulling out your cord will disconnect a hacker from your server.
Next, he suggested calling your insurance company. Some policies can cover you if your information gets stolen. He also stated you shouldn’t physically cut off your computer. If you fall victim to a hack, your computer could have valuable information left behind that can help you process a claim. Lastly, he noted to avoid paying a ransom if possible.
“The best way is not to pay them. Unfortunately, sometimes, if they’ve encrypted your data or wiped out your backups, you may not have any options but to pay them and there are certain ways and processes you can follow to do it but you don’t really want to do that. If at all possible, you want to resort to those backups,” explained Hanson.
Hanson said hackers are constantly evolving. This most recent hack could even be tossed for something new in a few weeks.
“It’s sort of a cat and mouse. As soon as we find out a way to stop them and put up a wall, they figure out a way over the wall, under the wall, through the wall, and then, we have to figure out a way to put another wall or detection system,” said Hanson.
In order to stay on top of their game and protect you at home, he said cyber companies can’t let up.
“We’re constantly improving those, so we can stay one step ahead of those hackers,” added Hanson.
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