The Elgin County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) recently received a complaint from a business that had their files locked out and encrypted.
The culprits then demanded a crypto currency payout to unlock the files for the company. The OPP’s Cybercrime Investigations Team was engaged and is furthering the investigation.
The OPP is reminding businesses and the public to follow the below steps to target harden their computer systems:
- Ensure proper offline backups of computer system data
- Have strong passwords (using lower case/uppercase letters, special characters, and numbers)
- Ensure that ports that allow for remote connections are not left open
- Use antivirus software and a firewall. Maintaining a strong firewall and keeping your security software up to date are critical
Always remember to think before you click. Often time’s unfamiliar emails have links in them. These links can download malicious software (malware) onto your computers and devices.
Here are steps you can take if you are a victim of ransomware:
- Take a screenshot/photograph of the ransomware demand
- Take a screenshot/photograph of the encrypted files including full file name and extension
- Collect any contact email addresses provided by the attackers
- Keep email correspondence from the attackers
- Keep crypto currency wallet addresses provided by the attackers
The OPP is committed to investigating online/digital crimes and preventing harm and victimization. The OPP is also encouraging business and the public to take an active role in their cyber security.
October marks National Cyber Security Awareness Month. For more information on current trends and how to further keep yourself secure online visit: https://www.getcybersafe.gc.ca/index-en.aspx