This is a Holdup – Give Us Your Bitcoin

01.14.15

Among the various cyber threat exposures to law firms is what is known as ransomware.  We know of one Oklahoma law firm to feel the impact of this crippling, malicious attack and on a national basis more law firms report being hit.

Ransomware is a type of malware that blocks access to your computer, holding your data & files hostage until a sum is paid.  Without making a payment, the data stays encrypted forever.  The sum required is in the form of a bitcoin, which makes it nearly impossible to discover the attacker.  

The ransomware seen today is much more sophisticated than the original malware that required the user to click on something.  Now it might be embedded in advertisements on websites, thereby evading detection by appearing authentic to security programs.

To mitigate your risk you should:

• Make regular backups of your data (backups should not be accessible through your network).

• Keep anti-virus software up to date.

• Think before you “click”.

• Avoid suspicious emails.

• Do not click on ads; rather, go to the company’s homepage.

Most importantly, make sure your firm has Cyber Insurance (note: you do have Cyber coverage if your firm has an OAMIC professional liability policy, as we attach this to the policy by endorsement).