Cyber criminals targeting Gold Coast businesses

Posted on: July 1st, 2016

Cyber criminals have been circulating the internet for years with Australian’s losing hundreds of millions each year due to scams.

But, it feels a little close to home when we learnt that a number of Gold Coast small businesses have recently been targeted. Here’s a snippet from the Gold Coast Bulletin…


CYBER criminals are increasingly targeting small Gold Coast businesses — forcing them to pay thousands in ransom money.

The crooks send thousands of emails each day, which when clicked on by the victims, activate software, called ransomware, that encrypts and locks the business’s computer system, including its data.

If the business has not backed up its files, its only option is to pay the criminals a fee to unlock the files or lose years of valuable records.

Helensvale business Bond Plumbing recently fell victim to the scam.

Owner Ryan Bond, who runs the business with wife Amanda, said an email arrived purportedly from AGL Energy, which was made to look like an invoice for gas.

Mrs Bond clicked on the invoice and found the ransomware took over their computer system, encrypting all their files.

“You can try and turn it off but it is still locked,” he said.

“We had our client database on there and all our other files such as invoices.

“Ten years of history.”

Mr Bond said they debated whether to pay the money to the scammers.

“Amanda said, ‘Look, it has all our history on it,’” he said.

“What it comes down to is you pay $1900 to reboot your computer but lose all the data with no history, or you pay the ransom and get it all back.

“The ransom worked out to around $900, so there was a $1000 difference.”

Mr Bond said the ransom had to be paid in Bitcoins, a digital currency which cannot be traced.

Mr Bond said it was lesson in making sure they always backed up their files.


The threat is real. It can happen to anyone. At any time. Is your business information and databases backed up? How long would your business cope without critical information? Do you have a plan in place and a back-up plan in case plan A was to fail?

The onPlatinum ICT disaster recovery and backup solution can protect all of your business critical data and records through our secure data centres. We will have your data restored and fully accessible within 24 hours after a disaster.

For more information and to protect your business, please contact us today!

 

Source: Gold Coast Bulletin, 30 June 2016, http://goo.gl/pyPfQz.

Written by: Nicole Baskerville


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