FBI asks firms not to pay for ransomware


The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has asked firms operating in the United States not pay for ransomware. But does this approach work in reality…?

For private citizens, whose database has been held hostage by vicious hackers, not paying them ransom to gain access is not possible, say experts. Especially, when FBI’s own statistics confirm that, ransomware attacks on US firms are spreading like a virus, spiking up to $209 million in damages in first three months of 2016.

When we look into the stats of ransomware spread, the reasons seem to be obvious. As malicious coding is freely available on Deep Web and can be gained by anyone who just has an internet connection, the threat percentage seems to be surging.

In a news report released in April’16, FBI directly expressed its concerns over the unchallenged growth of ransomware attacks and urged victims not to give up by paying to the hackers.

Instead, it encourages organizations to go for preventive measures such as backup plans which ensure utmost business continuity, when required.

Unfortunately, however, as in the case of most ransomware attacks, victims give up by paying the said ransom to hackers to gain access to their years worth of important data.

Or in some rare cases, organizations- public or private are ready to give up their data. Meaning they are ready to wipe off their data by going for new server hardware.

For instance, Cockrell Hill Police Department of Texas decided to lose 1TB of critical CCTV data as soon it discovered that the database was hit with ransomware.

Instead of paying the hackers the demanded ransom, the chief of the police department decided to wipe of the entire data on the database and go for a set of new hardware.

So, does FBI encourage the public and private entities in wiping off their database infected with ransomware…?

Never, says an official from the headquarters of FBI who likes to stay anonymous. She instead asks the public to use new sophisticated tools such as cloud backups to keep data safe and secure from hackers.

Furthermore, she wants them to take up digital safety measures in a proactive way to avoid such troubles.

Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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