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November 28, 2016

San Francisco's Muni Suffers Brutal Ransomware Attack

It’s back to reality after the holiday weekend for workers at the San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni) system.

On Friday, the organization was hit with a devastating ransomware attack, with station computer screens displaying a message that read “You Hacked, ALL Data Encrypted.”

The hacker demanded a ransom of $73,000 to restore access to the computer system.

Fortunately, the attack did not force the company to shut down any trains. However, payment systems were affected. Machines displayed messages saying they were out of service. The company was forced to allow free rides, as it could not charge customers.

According to ITworld, the ransomware that was deployed against the organization is a form of HDDCryptor, which encrypts network shares and hard drives. This type of malware targets folders, files, printers, drives and serial ports.

The Muni computer system has since been fully restored. It is not yet known whether the transit system paid the $73,000 ransom to regain access to its computer system.

For businesses owners, this should be a chilling reminder about the reality of ransomware. As we enter the busy holiday shopping season, it’s safe to assume that we will see many more ransomware attacks on private networks. It will be survival of the fittest, as only the strongest networks will emerge unscathed.

As we described in a blog post last week, it takes an average of 33 hours to recover from a ransomware attack. And the average cost of a ransomware attack is now $99,000.

Here at Apex Technology Services, we hope your business is well protected heading into this busy season. If not, contact us today.

A new breed of hacktrepeneurs has awoken and they have little to fear and everything to gain by infecting as many companies as possible and extorting money from them. Apex Technology Services stands ready to protect your company regardless of whether it’s located in New York CityWhite Plains, New York; Connecticut; Australia; Europe; or anywhere else. Our full suite of cybersecurity and IT support services is at your disposal, enabling you to spend less time worrying about and more time growing your business.

In addition, our new Cybersecurity Compliance Certification for law firms will help keep your legal practice from becoming the next Panama Papers victim. This baseline cybersecurity audit for the legal industry should be considered seriously by all law firms.

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