Sunday, October 30, 2016

HACKERS: Attack from Eastern Europe

A Unionville friend reports that she set off a potentially catastrophic attack on her computer merely by opening a text that appeared to be from Federal Express. The hackers -- they turned out to be from Lithuania -- managed to encrypt all of her computer files, and then demanded a ransom for them, to be paid within three days in bitcoins (an online medium of exchange).
She did some research and found someone willing to do a bitcoins transaction, but he wanted to meet her at a Starbucks in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. She decided against this and called a local computer guy who managed to salvage her files by finding an email attachment that had not been encrypted. He also installed a storage system that will automatically back up her files from now on. 
As she was sharing this harrowing tale, I recalled an odd text from Amazon that I had received, and opened, a few days before on my phone. I drove straight home and made sure my computer was OK. So far, so good -- and I also installed a backup system.

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