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London police remind businesses to take precautions after ransomware incident

File photo.
File photo. 980 CFPL News

London police are sending out a reminder to businesses about the importance of protecting their operations from ransomware attacks.

READ MORE: International technologies company in Strathroy, Ont. suffers cyberattack

Officers say a local small business fell victim to one of the attacks over the weekend. Police confirmed to Global News Radio 980 CFPL that they would not be disclosing the name of the business that involved that prompted the safety reminder.

Ransomware attacks generally involve either a victim clicking a link in a phishing email or the business being directly hacked.

Once the hacker is in, they activate malware that goes into the computer system and encrypts its data.

The only the data is released is by paying a ransom, usually in Bitcoin.

Officers are advising the public to make sure they’re taking proper online precautions and keeping their computer security systems up to date.

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READ MORE: ‘Cyberattack’ on City of Woodstock being investigated, official says

“The criminals behind these attacks don’t care how big or small your company may be. They only care about getting as much money as they can from you,” said the head of the digital forensic unit, Det. Jason Eddy.

Police suggest using complex passwords, ensuring important files are backed up to an external drive or the cloud, keeping software up-to-date and running updated anti-virus software regularly, and providing training to employees to teach them how to identify phishing emails.

“We know that only a small number of these attacks are reported to police so it is difficult to understand the full scope of the issue here in London,” Eddy said.

“But we do know that people need to be proactive in protecting their files and in learning how to spot attack attempts.”

Police also recommend visiting the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website for further tips.

There have been a number of suspected cyberattacks in the region over the last few months, including the cities of Stratford and Woodstock as well as a hospital authority in Listowell and Wingham.