Should You Pay a Ransomware Request?

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a form of malicious software, known as malware which aims to extort money by encrypting (locking you out) computer files and demanding a ransom to the decryption password.

How can I protect myself from Ransomware?

Ransomware exploits known security vulnerabilities, make sure all your systems and applications are always updated - this reduces the risk of malware infection.

Ransomware normally arrives via phishing (scam emails and texts), make sure your staff know how to spot a scam email or text. 

Should I pay a Ransomware request? What does law enforcement advise?

Remember that GMP and all law enforcement does not encourage, endorse, nor condone the payment of ransom demands. If you ignore this guidance and pay the ransom:

  • There is no guarantee that you will then gain access to your data or device(s).

  • Your computer will still be infected.

  • You will be paying a criminal group.

  • You're more likely to be targeted again in the future.

Back in January, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) confirmed it was the victim of an ongoing ransomware attack. SEPA had about 1.2GB of data stolen from its digital systems on Christmas Eve and Sepa decided not to play ball with the cybercriminals.

Ransomware is a scourge that is costing organisations billions of pounds and every time a victim pays, it fuels further attacks. Sadly for Sepa, this is far from over.

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