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The FBI Seeks Ransomware Reports from Consumers and Businesses

FBI Seal (Photo: Getty Images)

FBI Seal (Photo: Getty Images)

The FBI wants your help to monitor the scope and frequency of ransomware attacks on consumers and businesses alike. Ransomware is usually initiated by clicking on a link or popup that downloads malware on your device and freezes it. Once frozen, a new pop-up will emerge on your screen indicating that you must pay often hundreds of dollars to receive code that will restore your system.

The FBI is asking victims of this hack to report the attack on their Internet Crime Complaint Center, with specific details of the incident:

  1. “Date of Infection
  2. Ransomware Variant (identified on the ransom page or by the encrypted file extension)
  3. Victim Company Information (industry type, business size, etc.)
  4. How the Infection Occurred (link in e-mail, browsing the Internet, etc.)
  5. Requested Ransom Amount
  6. Actor’s Bitcoin Wallet Address (may be listed on the ransom page)
  7. Ransom Amount Paid (if any)
  8. Overall Losses Associated with a Ransomware Infection (including the ransom amount)
  9. Victim Impact Statement”

Source: www.IC3.gov

How to Protect Yourself?

  • Make sure your firewall is turned on along with anti-virus and anti-malware protection – and that they are up to date. Anti-exploit software may also provide additional protection.
  • Be sure to download and install the latest security upgrades.
  • Read and understand the access rights you are giving to that new app before clicking “Agree” and downloading it onto your smartphone.
  • Remember that public W-Fi is just that – Public. Assume that you have no privacy or security if you are using free public Wi-Fi and use caution when operating your cell phone or computer.
  • Alert employees to not click on links or open attachments from any unsolicited email.
  • Make certain that company computers have the most up to date anti-virus, ant-malware, and anti-exploit software installed.
  • Back up company data often and store the backup off-network and off-site.
  • If your computer of smart phone is ever compromised by ransomware, take it directly to a computer professional. Don’t try to fix the device yourself.

Source BBB North Alabama

For more ways to defend yourself from ransomware attacks, check out Ransomware Victims Urged to Report Infections to Federal Law Enforcement.

To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to bbb.org.