Ransomware: Only a Click Away

By Michael Fiorito, MDS

Hook, line and sinker

It’s Monday. I log into my device and notice that I’ve received an email from my bank. The email asks me to log into my account to update customer information; the link looks familiar and innocent. However, when I log in, I am suddenly locked out of my files. As it turns out, behind the scenes, I’ve now been taken to a fraudulent site that harvests my login details and installs malware on my device.

Making the deal

Now that the device is infected, the data on the hard drive is encrypted. Via email the attackers inform me that they will hold the decryption key until I pay the ransom price. They outline the deal: today I owe them $100; tomorrow it will tick up to $200 and so on. When I reach out to the attackers; they are very businesslike. I’ve learned that ransomware attackers are very congenial and stick to their word. If their negotiations weren’t businesslike, there would be no integrity in the transaction and therefore no one would pay the ransom.



How do I avoid getting infected?


My experience has taught me to keep good backups. If I don’t need to purchase the decryption key, I wouldn’t be at the mercy of the attackers.

I am now suspicious of unsolicited emails.

I type out web addresses myself rather than clicking on links that are emailed to me.

I’ve also installed antivirus software that scans files before downloading, blocks back-door installations and looks-out for malware


How can MDS help?


Attackers will continue to evolve their methods. The only way to prevent attacks is to maintain an active security practice and provide continuous education to your users.

MDS can provide guidance to an organization’s technical team and offer best practice training to end-users. Contact a MDS Cyber Security specialist today to ensure you have the necessary knowledge and barriers in place to protect your organization from an attack.

Our Pledge:

Building out and maintaining your IT ecosystem doesn’t have to be a do-it-yourself project. MDS can help identify network issues, configure devices, and optimize your infrastructure to maximize efficiency and performance. Our consultants are highly trained technology specialists that understand the complexities of multi-vendor environments and have the knowledge and skills to help your business become more agile, customer-focused and operationally efficient.


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