Learn how the Town of Discovery Bay's CSD overcame an increasingly common cybersecurity threat: Ransomware.
While the 14,000 residents of the Town of Discovery Bay, California, went about their usual Monday morning rituals, an employee at the Community Services District’s (CSD) main offices sat scrolling through his email. He opened a normal-looking message with the simple and believable subject line of “Resume.” He opened the attached file. A millionth of a second later, without knowing it, the entire town was under siege.
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Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents or limits law firm users from accessing their systems. This type of malware forces its victims to pay the ransom through certain online payment methods, such as Bitcoin, in order to grant access to their systems, or to get their data back. Some ransomware encrypts files (called Cryptolocker).
CryptoLocker is a ransomware trojan which spreads via infected email attachments. When activated, the malware encrypts certain types of files stored on local and mounted network drives. The malware then displays a message which offers to decrypt the data if a ransom is paid (usually through Bitcoin) by a stated deadline, and threatens to delete the private decryption key if the deadline passes.
Bitcoin is a form of digital currency, created and held electronically. Users can hold multiple Bitcoin addresses, and they aren’t linked to names, addresses, or other personally identifying information -- making them the perfect coin-of-trade by cybercriminals.