In the digital age, it seems that crooks and hackers will stop at nothing to make a dime. Ransomware isn’t necessarily a new thing, but it’s been around long enough that it’s gotten pretty sophisticated. If your company is the victim of a ransomware attack, it’s very important to contact the FBI. Here’s why.
#1 – There’s Not a Single Tool or Method for Protection
Unlike virus and malware protection, there’s no one particular tool that’s dedicated to protecting your business from ransomware attacks. Aside from backing up your company’s data, performing risk analyses, training your staff, and patching potential vulnerabilities, there’s no real way to guarantee complete protection. The best protection for any company anywhere in the world is to report each act of ransomware as it occurs. This way, the FBI has a better chance of tracking down those responsible and removing the threat completely.
#2 – The FBI Doesn’t Want You to Pay the Ransom
The FBI does not advocate paying ransom to those who demand it in exchange for the safety of your data. According to James Trainor, the FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director, “Paying a ransom doesn’t guarantee an organization that it will get its data back…” In fact, it only exacerbates the problem by giving the attackers what they want – the money. Once these criminals have successfully targeted a few smaller companies, they’ll move on to larger and larger companies with very little in the way to stop them. Trainor also mentions that by paying a ransom, your company may inadvertently be paying for other illegal activity that is associated with the criminals.
#3 – You Could Be Targeted Again
Finally, the FBI also notes that many companies that pay ransoms in exchange for data are often targeted by the same criminals again in the future. Even if a company was provided with a decryption key after paying ransom the first time, there’s no guarantee that same company will get the key the second time around. If that happens, your company is out a very large sum of money, and you’re still in the same position. For that reason, it is always best to involve the FBI and allow them to catch the criminals responsible.
How to Report Ransomware
If you believe that your company has been the victim or is currently the victim of a ransomware attack, please contact your local FBI office. From there, you’ll want to report to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. Your local office can provide you with more information about how to file your complaint and what sort of information you can provide. The agent assigned to your case may ask that you remain in contact with the FBI to help with their investigation, and FBI agents may also come to your place of business to assess the risk.
Ransomware is a serious threat, and the number of reports are on the rise. Thieves will often stop at nothing to get the money they want, and they’ll exploit your business to do it. Reporting these attacks to the FBI gives them a better chance to collect the evidence they need to catch the criminals and spare other businesses – including your own – from future attacks.