MADIKERI: Something was wrong with their server. They couldn’t open their folders. This was not the usual ‘System error’. Suddenly a message or rather a warning popped up on their computer screen: “Your files can be retrieved, but you have to pay...”The personnel of ‘Sun Micro Tec IT Solutions’ company in Kushalnagar then understood that their data had been ‘kidnapped’ by cyber criminals and they were asked to pay a ‘ransom’ in the form of an expensive key to unlock their folders.
A complaint in this regard, a first of its kind in Kodagu, has been raised with the district cyber cell. This is a new reality that haunts the corporate security teams the world over. Credit cards are passé, data has become a bargaining chip for cyber criminals.The company personnel detected the ‘Ransomware.ogdo’ virus, which stole all the system data through the server.
And the warning message said, “Don’t worry, you can return all your files! All your files like pictures, databases, documents and other important (sic) are encrypted with the strongest encryption and unique keys...The only method of recovering files is to purchase decrypt tool and unique key for you (sic) price of private key and decrypt software is $980.”Further, the warning message even offered the company a discount of 50% -- if the company contacted the hacker via email within 72 hours.
Data of four firms at risk
“Please note that you’ll (sic) never recover your data without payment. Check your email ‘spam’ or ‘junk’ folder if you don’t get an answer more than 6 hours (sic). To get this software you need (sic) write on our e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Reserve email address to contact us: email@example.com,” said the message.The server that was subjected to cyber phishing had data including Income Tax information, Tally sales and purchase data of four companies -- Manipal Institute of Computer Education, Sun Micro Tec IT Solution, Sun Micro Tec Computer Service and Micro Tec Information Technology, which have all been lost to cyber crime. “Clicks on unknown emails will result in such hacking. People must not open emails from suspicious IDs and persons,” said Chandrashekar, who is also Kodagu district IT Association president.