Hackers? We Don’t Know Any Stink’n Hackers

Go Ahead Ignore the Hackers

If you were hacked, how much would you pay to get your company, municipality or customer’s data back again? Perhaps a better question would be, what would you pay to prevent the hacking in the first place? It appears you would rather pay big bucks to recover from a hack vs. paying for protection. Humm, what’s up with that? Oh, wait it couldn’t happen to you, could it?

We have trouble right here in River City (Music Man “Ya Got Trouble”). One of our long time mid-sized business customers in Contra Costa was just hacked and his data was encrypted. A demand for ransom was made for over $19,000.00. His business depends on customer data, forms developed over periods of years, contracts, court documents and the like, so he is likely to pay. This could have been prevented for about $81.00 month, he ignored our advice. Your turn.

Let me be clear. If you are hacked and your data is encrypted, you cannot get it back without the encryption key. The encryption key is a unique password, as in there is only one word or phrase that will unlock the data. That key is held by the hacker. You must have the key to unscramble your data. There isn’t a single product or procedure in the world that will circumvent the key, nor is there any professional or service that can recover the data.

Well, the only exception (for the techie types that don’t believe in absolutes) may be the fastest computer in the world performing over 200 Quadrillion Calculations (one quadrillion is 1 followed by 15 0’s) per second would take years to break the encryption. Imagine the cost of that, likely in the billions of dollars. By the way, your PC will do about 350,000 calculations/second. 350000 vs. 200000000000000000. Your computer isn’t going to help you.

Your choices are to start over with new servers, workstations, connect them to a new network, get all your software re-installed and begin the laborious process of re-creating your documents. Pay the ransom and take your chances that you know how and where to buy a Bitcoin and once paid you’ll actually get the key. Or, prevent the issue in the first place and have a backup and recovery plan. Maybe we should charge more for prevention so users will appreciate the importance. Never mind that hacking has grown 8500% since 2017.

I hate to say it, hacking happens because it is profitable to hackers and you are an easy fish, err, target. No laws to prevent it either. In a few minutes they break into your computer and scramble it with encryption. Payday comes in the form of Bitcoin the untraceable currency of the underworld. So in less than 5 minutes they score $1000.00 (average estimated PC hack ransom). Then they write computer programs that does the hacking for them, sit back and collect from you. And, guess what, you’re STILL not protected. Fact is you’re an easy mark for another attack.

This is happening right now, right here in River City, Contra Costa County. Wake up, this not hype to sell you something worthless like a fry pan covered in magical coating. This is your life and it is getting harder to fight. Join us, join our Army of good guys to fight this crime. We’re talking less than ten bucks.