It’s usually kidnapped people – not a hijacked computer – that are held for ransom. “Once that machine is encrypted by the malware, the hacker contacts you with a ransom note to your screen: ‘If you want the keys to encrypt your machine, send $500 to us,’” said Jeff Hurley, CEO of DataPrivia, a technology consulting firm in Wyndhurst. “We’ve helped companies locally that have dealt with that.” About 20 percent of cyber attacks are on businesses with 250 or fewer employees, according to McAfee, a computer security software company. Meanwhile, six in 10 businesses do not have a contingency plan if they’re breached, according to a 2014 study by the National Cyber Security Alliance. Local businesses are exposed in various ways to the new type of crime, where intellectual property and identity theft are vulnerable. But common sense and preventative action go a long way, local experts said. Earlier this year, the Lynchburg Regional Chamber of Commerce website was hacked. “We were in the middle of upgrading our site and converting to a different web database. Our ‘plug-ins’ needed to be updated and as we were in the midst of conversion… hackers took advantage,” said Christine Kennedy, chamber president, […]
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