IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Police warns companies not to pay cyber ransoms

With ransomware cases escalating, police are advising companies not to comply with hacker requests

Cyber crime posted within binary code

Police have warned companies not to pay hackers if they demand a ransom, after criminals threatened the child of a senior employee at an Australian company.

The company in question complied with the hacking group's request to pay out thousands of dollars after its systems were hacked and sensitive data was stolen.

When the company paid the ransom, the hackers changed their minds and began threatening a senior employee at the company and their family.

Police said the hackers: "profiled a senior member of the organisation, identified their family and threatened to discredit members of his family through online attacks particularly targeting a child."

Acting assistant commissioner Brian Hay said: "This was a very serious attack on an organisation and quite traumatic for the business, the victim and his family. We are strongly urging business to ensure their computer systems are secure and protected from hackers, that they adopt a policy of not paying ransom demands and carefully consider the information posted on social media."

The warning comes at the same time as a security researcher at Check Point uncovered a new decryption ransomware threat. Natalia Kolesova said the scam, called Troldesh, involves a hacker encrypting a victim's files, forcing them to pay a fee for the files to be subsequently decrypted. While investigating the threat, Kolesova was able to bargain with the hacker to get a discount on the ransom.

However, even this can be dangerous for enterprises to get into. Hays advised organisations to put protocols in place in order to deal with incidents should they occur in the first place: "Organisations need to think about putting in place a strategy to counteract or respond to these types of incidents. But the one message that I cannot stress enough is to never comply with extortion demands and report these matters to us immediately."

Featured Resources

Accelerating AI modernisation with data infrastructure

Generate business value from your AI initiatives

Free Download

Recommendations for managing AI risks

Integrate your external AI tool findings into your broader security programs

Free Download

Modernise your legacy databases in the cloud

An introduction to cloud databases

Free Download

Powering through to innovation

IT agility drive digital transformation

Free Download

Most Popular

Salaries for the least popular programming languages surge as much as 44%
Development

Salaries for the least popular programming languages surge as much as 44%

23 Jun 2022
Attracting and retaining talent through training
Sponsored

Attracting and retaining talent through training

13 Jun 2022
The top programming languages you need to learn for 2022
Careers & training

The top programming languages you need to learn for 2022

23 Jun 2022