What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malware that infects your system, personal or business data. You will receive an onscreen message that your files are now encrypted, with a demand for payment to restore access.
How they contact you
What they're after
Who should I contact and examples of ransomware.
John runs a small business with about 10 staff members. His account manager opened an attachment in an email containing an unpaid invoice from one of their suppliers. The file did not open when clicked on. Unfortunately, in the background, it infected their network with ransomware, including their backup files on a USB which was still connected to their computer.
The following day a message appeared on the screen advising their files had been encrypted and they had 72 hours to pay a ransom in crypto currency, otherwise all their customer and business files would be deleted forever.
Effectively locked out of their own system and files, the company was unable to operate.
John followed the scammers instructions and paid nearly $3,000 only to find they did not unlock his files.
John then hired specialists to recover as much of their data as possible. The impact on the day to day running of his business was significant.
Things you should know
*Examples are based on one or more real scam reports received by Westpac. For privacy purposes real names have not been used.