SOFTWARE HOLDING BUSINESSES TO RANSOM

Written on the 19 May 2015

SOFTWARE HOLDING BUSINESSES TO RANSOM

SMALL business owners are being urged to think twice before opening emails that could contain 'ransomware' after the latest Targeting Scams Report revealed that almost $1 million was lost to these scams last year.

This Fraud Week, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is making business owners aware of the malware that infects a computer system by restricting access unless a ransom is paid to a scammer for the restriction to be removed.

The ACCC reported it received over 2500 ransomware and malware complaints in 2014 with over $970,000 reported lost by small businesses and consumers. 

"Several people reported losing over $10,000 to these scams, which can have a devastating effect on a small business," ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper says.

"Ransomware can also see your business and financial records, which may be catastrophic."

Victims reported receiving an email purportedly from a reputable sender such as Australia Post or FedEx, with a file attached that will install ransomware on your computer once opened.

"Many small businesses and consumers have reported that their computer has been frozen, with a pop-up alert that claims to be from the Australian Federal Police stating the computer has been locked because they have visited an illegal website or breached various laws," Schaper says.

"Scammers claim that they will unlock the computer if a fee is paid. However, even if you pay the ransom, there is no guarantee your computer will be unlocked and you're likely to be up for expensive repairs to your computer and the loss of your invaluable data."

"Scams like this often succeed because they look like messages from a government agency or reliable large corporation. It's important that small businesses are aware that government agencies will not send these demands and they're dealing with a scammer.

SCAMwatch tips:

  • Ensure your computer has a firewall and up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
  • Do not click on links or download files in emails you receive out of the blue; especially if they are executable (.exe) files or zip files. These files are likely to contain malware.
  • Use a pop-up blocker as a lot of ransomware is delivered after following links in pop-up alerts.
  • If there is any doubt about the legitimacy of an email supposedly from a legitimate business, do not rely on contact details or links provided or open any attachments - contact the organisation using the number in the telephone directory or on their official website to verify.
  • Regularly back-up your computer's data on a separate hard drive so this can be easily re-installed if your computer is infected by malware or ransomware.

Latest News

2017 BRISBANE TOP COMPANIES REVEALED

WHILE Queensland is regarded as an economy in transition with the winding down of the mining boom, the 2017 top 50...

2017 BRISBANE TOP COMPANIES 1-10

FROM insurance and banking to travel, gambling, retail, property and pizza, these "heavyweights" have ha...

2017 BRISBANE TOP COMPANIES 11-20

RETAIL, property, an airline, cars, real estate, software services, energy, agriculture, veterinary services bathr...

2017 BRISBANE TOP COMPANIES 21-30

JEWELLERS Michael Hill International listed in 2016 with a half-billion dollar market capitalisation and a new CEO...

Related News

FURNITURE DISRUPTOR SET TO SHARE HIS ONE OF A KIND BUSINESS MODEL

IT'S no secret that Australians love homemaking. Their ceaseless quest to create the perfect place to call hom...

WEEDING OUT THE ASX'S BURGEONING CANNABIS TREND: 8 COMPANIES TO WATCH

A NICHE is budding on the ASX in the form of medical cannabis, an industry which has been on the country's rad...

FRESH CLASS ACTION TO REVEAL ANOTHER SIDE OF SLATER AND GORDON DOWNFALL

ACA LAWYERS has issued a formal letter of demand to Andrew Grech (pictured), managing director of Slater and Gordo...

STARSHIPS WERE MEANT TO DELIVER DOMINO'S PIZZA

NICKI Minaj may have been off the mark when she declared 'starships were meant to fly'. However, she m...

BOOK YOUR FUNCTION SPACE HERE

 

 

 

Contact us

Email News Update Sign Up Contact Details
Subscriptions

PO Box 2087
Brisbane QLD 4001

LoginTell a FriendSign Up to Newsletter