Throwback Thursday - Star Trek Ransomware

The Original Star Trek or Star Trek:TNG? I named my son Jean-Luc and I'm not French so I'll let you draw your own conclusions on which I prefer...The true topic for today is a new ransomware variant called "Kirk". It's themed on Star Trek and displays pictures of Kirk and Spock from the show after encrypting your files. I guess thieves are getting bored of just ruining people's lives and stealing money and need an artistic outlet as well.

Ransomware is getting more aggressive and this is not unique to Kirk. What ransomware authors have started doing is demanding payment faster or the price goes up. With Kirk, the pay schedule is: 

  • 0-2 days: $1,000
  • 3-7 days: $2,000
  • 8-14 days: $4,000
  • 15-31 days: $10,000

If you don't pay by day 31 the encryption keys are deleted and your data is unrecoverable. A frequent question I hear is "what data would I have that's valuable?". The truth is that it doesn't matter. They don't care what the data is, they are just hoping that it's valuable enough to you that you'll pay.

I keep coming back to ransomware as a topic lately but I do so because it's very popular at the moment. Making a simple honest mistake can set a small business back immensely! Awareness is one of the biggest ways to combat it. Having a good antivirus solution can help but if you're unlucky enough to be one of the first to encounter a new breed of ransomware, it may not prevent encryption. Pairing your antivirus solution with a great backup plan that is tested periodically and education is the best way for small businesses to live long and prosper. (see what I did there? #tbt)

If you'd like to discuss how NeoCloud Consulting can help protect your small business from ransomware, please contact me!