Ransomware developers gained thousands from companies in Arkansas

Companies in Conway lose thousands of dollars due to geo-focused ransomware attacks

Ransomware attack in ArkansasVarious companies in Arkansas had to pay the ransom after their data got locked.

Numerous businesses in Conway, Arkansas have been made to deal with ransomware[1] attacks, leaving them without important data and thousands of dollars paid in the form of ransom. Most of the affected companies want to keep things private, so it is believed that the biggest victims haven't gone public. However, Brian Fletcher, the owner of Fixed by Fletcher, disclosed that victims have already lost over $70 000, including $15 000 paid as ransoms.

Fletcher stated for the local news that everything came to his attention when one of his customers got hacked by ransomware.[2] The IT department of this large local company tried to restore lost files from the company's backups, but lots of documents were still lost.

At the moment, FBI is under the investigation trying to track down the location of hackers. According to some theories, companies are under the geographically focused attacks that involve unaware people, e.g. clients, patients, employees.

Cybercriminals are believed to gain the access with the help of malicious links

However, there is not much information about the ransomware attack. As Fletcher says, these incidents do not seem like data breaches but rather look like attacks implemented after the accidental click on an infected email[3] attachment.

As a result, data encryption[4] left the affected companies with two options: pay the ransom and hope to get the code needed for data decryption or hire professionals who are capable of recovering the data on the network without making a ransom payment. If we took into account what cybersecurity experts advise, you should never pay the ransom, no matter how big or small it is.

Despite all these pieces of advice, one of the businesses has lost up to $70 000 in total. Unfortunately, ransom payment recovered only a few files back they lost because of the attack.

Cloud services might be not enough to protect your data

Researchers across the world encourage people and companies not to pay the ransom. However, sometimes this is the only solution for the company to get its vital data back. When there is no decryption tool or proper backup, ransomware developers are the only ones who can recover the lost data.

However, you wouldn't need such a help if you saved your files on the external hard drives or in the cloud. By using these backups, the encrypted data can be recovered in minutes.

Nevertheless, these attacks are getting bigger and bigger because companies fail to instruct their employees about safe browsing practices and the importance of avoiding insecure emails. Keep in mind that clicking on a simple “invoice” can lead the whole network to data encryption.[5]

About the author
Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Anti-malware specialist

Julie Splinters is the News Editor of 2-spyware. Her bachelor was English Philology.

Contact Julie Splinters
About the company Esolutions