Ransomware attacks up amid pandemic

Ransomware attacks up amid pandemic

Ransomware attacks against businesses and private citizens are on the rise in Greece, also due to the expansion of remote work, Kathimerini understands.

Ransomware is a form of malware in which infected computers are remotely locked by cyber-criminals until an extortion fee is paid, often in the form of cryptocurrency.

Experts at Northwind, an Athens-based data recovery company, told Kathimerini that they have had to deal with 11 cases of ransomware attacks in the last couple of weeks.

Experts say the victims are not necessarily high-profile targets. Recent victims include an accountant and a lawyer based in Athens, a Piraeus university professor, a photographer in Hania on Crete and a furniture company in Thessaloniki.

Authorities advise victims not to pay the ransom, as there is no guarantee that the data will be unlocked in return.

“Cyber-attacks have recently increased mainly due to the changes brought about by Covid-19 and the fact that more people are working from home than from the office now,” says Yannis Gikas, regional manager of Check Point Software Technologies. 

“The new forms of cyber-attack aim to exploit the lack of efficient cyber-security policy and tools,” he said.

Officials are currently investigating a ransomware raid on the computer network of Hellenic Defense Systems, in a case revealed on Tuesday by Kathimerini.

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