A Queen’s Ransom

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Here in The Queen City of Charlotte NC, we enjoy the very best a vibrant American economy has to offer. From large stable banks, to burgeoning start-ups; opportunity, money, and people flow around Mecklenburg County, NC like the waters of a raging river. Harnessing the power and resources of a river is a long standing American economic tradition, but along with opportunity comes risk, and the businesses of Charlotte are a prime target.

On December 5, 2017, foreign operatives attacked key systems of Mecklenburg County NC via a strain of ransomware known as LockCrypt. Once the data was frozen, the hackers demanded a ransom payment of two Bitcoin, which on December 5, 2017 had an approximate value of $25,000. Mecklenburg is the largest county in North Carolina by population, serving more than 1 million residents of Charlotte with an annual budget in excess of 1 billion dollars. On December 5th 2017, the cyberterrorists functionally shut the county’s systems down. More than a month later, the systems are on the mend but still not fully restored.

If you think hackers are targeting only large, billion dollar operations like Mecklenburg County… think again.

On December 22nd 2017, another business in Charlotte was attacked, and their data held captive. Along with the system failure came the worst kind of holiday greeting… a ransom demand from hackers. For obvious security reasons, the company would like to maintain anonymity, but they are a small, family-owned wholesale distribution company, similar to thousands of other businesses. Without warning, their key systems were shut down, hampering their ability to do business.

An employee of the company got on the phone, reaching out to all of the company’s contacts with IT experience. Through an existing relationship, they engaged Charlotte IT Services company Intelligys.

Within hours Intelligys had a team on-site, assessed the situation and began the process of repairing the compromised systems. They worked through Christmas, and into the New Year holiday, carefully restoring each affected component back to how things were before the attack.

All companies are ransomware targets, no matter how small.

Prevention is substantially less expensive than cleaning up after an attack, but more importantly a proper plan will keep your business running without interruption, in this climate of constant, and evolving cyber threats. The employee who called Intelligys had this to say:

Intelligys helped us out of a horrible situation. They were fast, intelligent, and straight with us about the severity of our situation. Once we were on a path to repairing the damage, we asked them to help us shore-up our systems, policies and processes so this doesn’t happen again.

In these times of ever-increasing electronic extortions, companies need to stay on top of industry best practices for thwarting those who mean you harm. So, no matter how small your operation, reach out to your trusted resources and make sure your IT castle is secure.

If you’re in the Charlotte NC metro area, Intelligys is local, experienced and ready to assess the state of your systems. It only takes a small effort to prevent a big problem, so reach out to us today. We’d love to help you avoid being held for a Queen’s Ransom.

By | 2018-02-05T22:20:07+00:00 January 3rd, 2018|Articles, Security|0 Comments

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