Nowhere to hide

By Mark Whitehead | 08 March 2016

It was an ordinary Tuesday in January at Lincolnshire CC as staff got on with their work providing services to local residents. Nobody could have anticipated the crisis about to engulf them, shutting down some services for several days and hitting the national headlines.

A member of staff was checking their inbox when an innocent looking email suggested opening an attachment. Going against all the usual advice, the attachment was duly clicked. The result was not pretty. The attackers instantly encrypted many of the council’s files, rendering them completely inaccessible. They would only be unscrambled on payment of $500 in ‘bitcoin’, the online ‘virtual’ currency. The amount would be doubled if it wasn’t paid straight away.

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