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Local tech companies explain how a ransomware attack can happen

Posted at 6:26 PM, Sep 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-12 18:26:22-04

WAKULLA COUNTY, Fla. — The Wakulla County School district is under a ransomware attack.

School leaders say their email has been compromised and phone is the best way to reach them. Those hackers want them to pay up in the form of bitcoin or else.

WTXL's Kristian Thomas spoke to some local tech companies to help us understand how this could even happen in the first place.

"A lot of time these things come through in email and these days the hackers are trying to impersonate key people," said David Costano, President of IT Net Group.

Hackers much like those who took over Wakulla County School district encrypt your files and ask for money. Not regular money, but Bitcoin.

"Bitcoins is a form of payment to release your network back to you, it can get quite pricey," said Laura Young, service consultant at Advanced Business Systems.

This form of payment has become valuable to hackers as it's hard to trace. Castono says here are some signs that your system has been compromised.

"A couple ways you know you've been hit is one all your files get encrypted and two you've got a ransomware note sitting where those files were," said Castono.

Securing your network is ultimately the best way to protect yourself against hackers.

"Having backup can give us sources of information to get you back up and running more efficiently and like you were before the attack happened," said Young.

Wakulla County Schools said in a statement:

"As we work to complete the investigation, we will look for opportunities to further enhance our existing security measures."