Ransomware attacks growing but big businesses aren’t only targets

Published: Jun. 9, 2021 at 6:29 PM MST|Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 9:04 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Ransomware attacks are growing as criminals have targeted a major gas pipeline, local government agencies and even a top meat producer.

Click the wrong email link or download an unknown file and an attacker can take control over your computer or phone, according to tech experts.

A ransomware attack is when a computer system is hijacked, and access is only given back when a ransom is paid. A lot of the time, criminals demand it be paid through bitcoin because it is extremely difficult to trace.

“We are seeing big stories of big companies and of course we know Colonial Pipeline paid out $4.4 million in ransom to get their data back. That shouldn’t happen,” said Andy Taylor, from Techtalk Radio.

Taylor said the increase in remote workers, connected to company data, may make it easier for cyberattacks to occur.

“Big corporations and small companies, mom and pop shops, even us individuals that are getting on the computer,” he said.

David Oase, a local CPA, said his company is taking precautionary measures to keep the threats at bay.

“Encrypt our hard drive number one, number two a professional level firewall which is a physical device on the wall and updated with security procedures and measures on a regular basis,” Oase said.

Seeing Colonial Pipeline and one of the world’s largest meat companies fall victim to ransomware attacks has shown him how serious the threats can be.

“What’s in the attacks is very clever, and it’s the dangerous part we have to really train ourselves against,” he said.

Tech experts recommend you regularly backup your data, use two-factor authentication for your accounts and never click on unknown links or files.

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