RANSOMWARE – HIJACKING YOUR WEBSITE

Yesterday I received an email that I will share with you:

“PLEASE FORWARD THIS EMAIL TO SOMEONE IN YOUR COMPANY WHO IS ALLOWED TO MAKE IMPORTANT DECISIONS!

We have hacked your website https://www.briteideal.com and extracted your databases.

What does this mean? We will systematically go through a series of steps of totally damaging your reputation. First your database will be leaked or sold to the highest bidder which they will use with whatever their intentions are. Next if there are e-mails found they will be e-mailed that their information has been sold or leaked and your site https://www.briteideal.com was at fault thusly damaging your reputation and having angry customers/associates with whatever angry customers/associates do. Lastly any links that you have indexed in the search engines will be de-indexed based off of blackhat techniques that we used in the past to de-index our targets.

How do I stop this? We are willing to refrain from destroying your site’s reputation for a small fee. The current fee is $2000 USD in bitcoins (BTC). Send the bitcoin to the following Bitcoin address (Copy and paste as it is case sensitive): 14S9qL8jxxFYyAT58vqnpFtkjg3vrF17g7

Once you have paid we will automatically get informed that it was your payment. Please note that you have to make payment within 5 days after receiving this notice or the database leak, e-mails dispatched, and de-index of your site WILL start!

If you decide not to pay, we will start the attack at the indicated date and uphold it until you do, there’s no counter measure to this, you will only end up wasting more money trying to find a solution. We will completely destroy your reputation amongst google and your customers.

This is not a hoax, do not reply to this email, don’t try to reason or negotiate, we will not read any replies. Once you have paid we will stop what we were doing and you will never hear from us again!

Please note that Bitcoin is anonymous and no one will find out that you have complied.”


RANSOMWARE AND WEBSITE HIJACKING

A few weeks ago I posted an article titled Cyber Crime and Online Scams and the email that I received is an example of the desperation that people are feeling today, which is possibly the driving force behind the need to perpetrate online crime. My intention is not to scare you but rather to alert you to this reality happening in our world more frequently each year. Database hijacking has become very popular and profitable. Take a listen:

It is estimated that 4,000 ransomware attacks occur daily since January 1, 2016. Small to med-sized business are at the largest risk.


HOW TO PREVENT A RANSOMWARE ATTACK

We are building online businesses. Our website is our money, so we have but two choices; pay the ransom or not pay the ransom. As you have seen in the news article, if the threat is serious, it can be very costly to our business, reputation, and all the other things mentioned in the email sent to me. Here are steps that you can take to avoid a Ransomware Attack:

  1. Make sure that your computer is up to date with software to prevent a ransomware attack. Microsoft (the OS that I use) is very aware of the software that cybercriminals are using and their engineers have created software to detect and defeat these threats.
  2. Backup your website frequently
  3. Create a response plan and practice the plan the same as if you are practicing a fire drill
  4. Learn about Ransomware events

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR WEBSITE IS ATTACKED

  1. Contact the CISA (Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency), the FBI field office(s), and the US Secret Service
  2. Work with an experienced advisor to recover from the attack
  3. Identify relations that have touched your network
  4. Find and isolate any infected file(s) on your system

CONCLUSION

Cybercrime and Ransomware Attacks are real! Don’t be afraid but do be aware. Take precautions to keep your website backed up. Keep your website security up to date with the latest updates. Have a plan of action in case the unexpected happens to you, and if your website is attacked follow the steps mentioned above and then get back on your path, rebuild your website and continue your business. Protect your website, which is your money, and stay abreast of what is going on in the cyber world pertaining to online business threats. Until next week, stay safe, healthy, and prosperous.

6 thoughts on “RANSOMWARE – HIJACKING YOUR WEBSITE”

  1. Oh wow, this is insane. These people really are something now we have digital kidnapping. I am glad that I haven’t experienced it yet, my site is fairly new but this is a perfect reference for the future. Thanks for sharing the steps to prevent and also what to do if that should happen to us. I will share your site to all my friends that have the online business. 

    1. Derrick Daniels

      Thank you for reading my post. I am very happy to share information that will help us stay safe and allow us to continue to earn a living. Thanks for sharing my site with your friends. 🙂

  2. Hi Derrick, I am naturally concerned after reading your post. I was under the impressions that my web hosting platform supplies my website with site security and any cyber attack or span would be detected and stopped before it even reached my site. So is this something different?

    So was I being too relaxed about backing up my website thinking that my web hosting service is actually providing me with adequate protection and site secutiry? I though the fact that I have a https site would be enough, but now it seems it isn’t.

    1. Derrick Daniels

      Hi Line, thanks for taking the time to read my post. I believe that WA is a very protected hosting service and WP provides good protection also, but we are dealing with people that have the ability to hack government websites. They are skilled and good, so hacking our individual site(s) is nothing for these pros. 

      Along with having security from our host and WP, we have to be as proactive as possible. The truth of the matter is that if someone really wants to hack our website and disrupt our business they can. Unfortunately, this is the world that we live in today. I do what we can to protect my business and I ask the Universe to protect my businesses also. I try to have full coverage. 🙂

  3. I know this ransomware attack is a real thing. I believe we can panic and just get paralyzed about and not pursue our online goals or we could get prepared and continue with our business.

    I have just started online. I know online is the future and I can’t run from it. But these things discourage me a bit. I’m glad there’s a solution.

    1. Derrick Daniels

      Thanks, Abel for reading the article. You are right in the understanding that this is the digital world and if we are going to have online business(s) we can’t be afraid, but we must be aware and do what we can to protect ourselves and continue to move forward.

      There are preventive measures that we can take and things to do if it happens to us, but the most important thing to remember is not to get scared and continue to build our business and wealth. Have a good one my friend.

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