According to The Verge and The New York Times, the city of Baltimore is facing a lose/lose battle against Robinhood ransomware. This new strain of malware – which experts think originates from Eastern Europe – locks and encrypts important information on victims computers, remotely.
In the case of the Baltimore attacks, hackers will only release a decryption key if a hefty ransom of 13 Bitcoin (about $100,000) is paid. Lucky for the hackers, bitcoin can be just as difficult to trace as the origins of the virus itself. Mayor Young refuses to pay and authorities have yet to identify suspects.
The ongoing ordeal has caused a major slowdown in city-wide operations over the past month. Several of Baltimore’s municipal offices are still unable to access their email systems, accept payment for utility services, or document over 1500 pending home sales that have occurred since the breach. Workers are currently processing all incoming data by hand. They are losing thousands of dollars per day.
Attacks like this are more frequent than they ever have been. Public offices and private businesses alike are fair game as new strains of malware are developed each day. Hackers know that downtime means money loss and money loss is bad for business.
It is often easier (and cheaper) to pay hackers for their encryption key than spend the time and money to recover company data. A recent feature by Pro Publica, outlines how some tech firms advertise “an ethical way out.” There isn’t one. Turns out, they’re just negotiating with and paying the hackers directly, then taking a cut. This of course, does nothing but reinforce a hacker’s actions. What is a firm, or in this case, the city of Baltimore, to do? At this point, they don’t have many options. It’s too late.
Nobody is safe from a cyber attack. There is no company too small, or organization too sophisticated to avoid all the risks. State and local officials are quickly realizing that they, too, are targets. Mayor Young’s choice to not pay the Robinhood hackers is a seemingly noble decision. Meanwhile, their systems are still down and they can’t fully operate. This could have been prevented if they had a reliable disaster recovery service. A disaster recovery service should protect your data and your systems so that you can be back up and running quickly no matter what happens. This is something that no organization can afford to be without.
We put together a summary of the various options in the disaster recovery space.
Sky Data Vault offers Managed Disaster Recovery as a Service (MDRaaS). This service protects your entire production environment by backing up all of your files, folders and systems to a secure cloud. Had the city of Baltimore had MDRaaS, It would have saved them from downtime, subsequential money loss, and the huge headache of re-recording data by hand.
Cyber attacks are increasingly common and hard to prevent. When you have a backup recovery option, you are in control. With MDRaaS, your clients can recover their data with little to no interruption.
If you need disaster recovery, or you’re an agent who wants to offer it to your telephony clients, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s take a look at your options and keep you up and running, no matter what.