Police have urged companies that in the unfortunate circumstance that their information is held hostage by cybercriminals using ransomware; they should not pay the ransom; more importantly, with cryptocurrency.
Ransomware attacks would make it incredibly complicated for authorities to track the funds and investigate a case. Especially if the method of payment is thru digital currency.
Notwithstanding the force stating a six percent fall in the number of email scams in 2020; the warning came with 767 cases. The total amount of money lost also decreased by 11 percent to USD 283 million than the previous year.
There was also a reduction in cases in the first quarter of this year.
“We do not have a particular reason to explain the fall. Hackers use different means to get money or launch cyberattacks. In recent years, there have been much more attacks using ransomware. Probably because of the surge in the price in cryptocurrency”, stated detective chief inspector Ip Cheuk-yu from the force’s cybersecurity division.
Ip advised companies that paying a ransom would not assure that they would ever receive the digital key needed to unlock their data.
Mitigating Ransomware Attacks
Elsa Wong from the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce also noted that none of its members had ever paid a ransom via Bitcoin; stating it’s vital that businesses have a security system and back up their data from every so often.
She added they met a case recently where an employee’s workstation was hacked while working from home. This cyberattack resulted in all the company’s data being encrypted by cybercriminals. Wong called on businesses to equip their employees with laptops and access servers via a virtual private network (VPN).
A recent phishing email exercise involving 46 firms from various industries, such as finance and energy, found that about one in 10 employees had clicked a link sent in mocked-up scam emails.
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