Australian Outdoor Media Association Hacked

The Australia Outdoor Media Association was hacked two weeks ago.  The hackers encrypted all the Association’s files and asked for a bitcoin ransom.  The Association blogged on the hack.  Here are the Outdoor Media Association’s observations together with Insider’s comments in italics.

  • Backup every day so you can restore your files if they are encrypted by the hacker.  There are plenty of online cloud services which enable you to do this.  
  • Update your computer software because hackers take advantage of software without the latest security patches.  Make sure you click the automatic update button on your computer so you’re software stays up to date.
  • Your office will grind to a halt.  The OMA articles suggests that business was disrupted for 5 days.  Insider’s business was disrupted for a week when his computer was hacked in early 2016.
  • Bitcoin is difficult to buy.  Insider advises against paying money to get you data back in order to avoid more attacks in the future.
  • Find a cyber angel to navigate the dark web and negotiate with the hackers to get you data back.  See comment above.

Insider has three other recommendations for keeping your out of home website safe:

  • The top 5 sources of cyber attacks are (in order of importance): China, United States, Turkey, Brazil and Russia.  Set your website’s firewall to prevent domains in China, Turkey, Brazil and Russia as well as domains using anonymous proxies from  from accessing your website.  The number of attacks on Insider’s website plummeted when he did this.  This step is not feasible if you do international business.
  • Use two factor verification to access all your sensitive accounts.  That way the hackers can’t run crazy unless they have access to your phone and your computer.
  • Use long, difficult to guess passwords for key websites and for access to your digital signs.  We’ll write more about this in a future post.

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