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:
- 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.
- Backup your website frequently
- Create a response plan and practice the plan the same as if you are practicing a fire drill
- Learn about Ransomware events
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR WEBSITE IS ATTACKED
- Contact the CISA (Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency), the FBI field office(s), and the US Secret Service
- Work with an experienced advisor to recover from the attack
- Identify relations that have touched your network
- Find and isolate any infected file(s) on your system
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.