COIMBATORE: A group of wedding photographers have sought the help of City Police to retrieve their store of photos and videos from a foreign source that allegedly encrypted them and demanded a ransom for the unique key. Given that they work with a huge amount of data, they pointed out that such threats have made it unsafe and asked for Cyber Crime Police’s intervention.
As many as six men -- two working for the same studio, four other individual professionals -- filed a complaint at the commissioner’s office on Friday. All of them had been editing video footage with an online tool when their files were suddenly encrypted. When they tried to access the file, they received a ‘ransomware’ file that claimed that they can retrieve their files with decrypting tool and unique key. Only, they would have to pay $980 for the same, explained N Muthukumar, owner of a photo studio in New Siddhapudur and one of the complainants.
What more, the hackers promised a 50 per cent discount if the men were to accept the deal within 72 hours, he added.
With the photographers dependent on data storage and online software platforms (for templates and editing tools) for their jobs, the ransomware and hacking methods have now become a huge threat, he noted.
While ransomware had been common in the IT industry, it has now spread to all sectors that rely on the internet and backup systems, said a police official attached to Cyber Crime.