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Rise of ransomware attacks prompts expert calls for governments to establish 'cyber militia'

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posted on Jun, 9 2016 @ 06:32 AM

A recent ransomware attack on a university in Canada proves that governments around the world need to consider investing in a "cyber militia", a cyber crime expert has said. The University of Calgary was forced to pay more than $CA20,000 to cyber criminals after an advanced attack on its computer network last week. Professor Greg Austin, from the Australian Centre for Cyber Security, said the incident showed that universities were particularly vulnerable. "Universities are a principal target for cyber attackers because of the important intellectual property that they contain in their systems," he said. "This attack on the University of Calgary shows that all major institutions, hospitals, businesses, universities … they're all susceptible to dangerous and debilitating cyber attacks of one kind of another."
The advantage of having some sort of new militia-type arrangement is that you can draw on the skills that exist in the broader public, in the workforce, without necessarily having them in uniform full time, so you can draw on them when there's a cyber emergency of some kind.The incident has been described as a "ransomware attack", where cyber criminals encrypt a computer system so it cannot be

posted on Jun, 9 2016 @ 06:42 AM
a reply to: tommo39

This is one of the main reasons I don't keep anything important on my computer. I do[/i process things like family pictures through it, say from my phone or camera, but I immediately put them on a USB and then erase them from the computer. I keep passwords written down, for different sites like banking or Amazon shopping and never, ever let Google remember it for me. It's a bit of extra work, but in the age of people being able to rob you with the touch of a few buttons,.....better safe than sorry. I know many use their's for business, school and other things, but everyone should back up their important records, just in case.

posted on Jun, 9 2016 @ 06:46 AM
a reply to: tommo39

My father got nailed with one of these, and it was one of the funniest things I have ever witnessed. It was an easy fix, so probably not as advanced as these hackers.

Dad: (Calling at 11pm) We have a problem.
Me: Is everything okay? What's wrong?
Dad: The police are in my laptop. They're watching me. They have pictures.
Me: (I all ready know what's going on and trying not to laugh.) Jesus, Dad. What do they want?
Dad: They want $200 dollars. Do I go to court to pay it? Can I just show them my credit card?
Me: DONT SHOW THEM YOUR CREDIT CARD! What were you doing?
Me: Seriously, what did you click before it happened?
Dad: (totally deflated) I was trying to watch last nights American Idol. (They have my picture on the screen! How can they see me???)
Me: (laughing so hard now) Dad, where were you trying to watch it?
Dad: ummm..

Then I told him what was up and to just shut the computer until I could come over, but man, for someone like my dad with no computer savvy who didn't have someone to call? Scary stuff.

posted on Jun, 9 2016 @ 06:52 AM
a reply to: tommo39

Yesterday (June 8th) the University of Calgary, with an enrolment of approximately 30,000 students, paid a Cyber-Ransom of $20,000 to regain access to the University's computers.

University of Calgary pays $20,000 ransom to Cyber-Hackers
edit on 9-6-2016 by Leonidas because: (no reason given)

edit on 9-6-2016 by Leonidas because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 9 2016 @ 06:56 AM
a reply to: Leonidas

University of Calgary
This is what my OP is all about.......

posted on Jun, 9 2016 @ 06:58 AM
a reply to: tommo39

Readin' and comprehendin' is hard before my 1st coffee...

posted on Jun, 9 2016 @ 07:15 AM
I wonder who really benefits, in the long-term, from these "ransomware" attacks? Disillusioned hackers that could find far easier ways to gain money without relying on their victims to cave in, and the risk of having the money they extort traced back to them...or perhaps manufacturers of back up digital storage devices/services like external hard drives, USB keys and cloud?

I would be VERY interested to see the % sales growth of back up devices/services since the ransomware issue became mainstream.

edit on 9/6/2016 by Dark Ghost because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 9 2016 @ 07:49 AM
a reply to: tommo39

These kind of attacks are exactly what the governments want to happen on a large scale basis.

Internet security is NOT at all hard, well for the most part for the average individual.

DDoS attacks still have the affect they do because they exploit the internet itself. The government isn't going to protect us from that.

Ransomware is easily resolved with a full system restore, and any dumbass that keeps pertinent information on their hard drive is just not educated at all about the multitude of backup resources. Secure secondary sites at that.

Then again we are talking about humans....

posted on Jun, 9 2016 @ 07:55 AM
a reply to: Atsbhct

That was vundo- old variant that didn't actually do anything other than nag you.

The new ones encrypt it all- either certain file types, all file types, or the entire system drive. They'll encrypt anything they can get across the network, too. Scary stuff.

posted on Jun, 9 2016 @ 09:44 AM
Rather than starting a 'cyber militia' I'd call on people to educate themselves before clicking links or downloading software , Ransomware attacks are usually born from user ignorance of such threats and poor security protocols.

posted on Jun, 9 2016 @ 10:53 AM
a reply to: lordcomac

Yup he dodged a bullet there and got the less complex one or a copy cat like AutoLocky which are fairly common today too except those only change file extensions.

My Father managed to somehow infect his PC with the .Locky ransomware which deletes system restore points and shadow copy files so the only way to "fully" recover is external backup which is too expensive around here.

But luckily since .Locky makes copies of the original files and encrypts the copies and deletes the originals you can fairly easily get them back with file recovery, strangely it only encrypted .doc and .docx files so it was even easier to recover.

I kept telling him not to open shady emails with attachments and not to download stuff from shady sites but his usual "innocent" response is "I didn't download anything "

posted on Sep, 30 2016 @ 09:21 AM
on one of the forums where I take the information, there was a proposal to announce a "war" extortionists

for example by means of it

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