Not too long ago, we received a panicked phone call from a local business.
A member of staff in the office had clicked on an email attachment which was supposed to be an invoice, but turned out to be something quite different.
Instead of the promised invoice, the attachment was actually a Microsoft Word document containing a hidden nasty – a macro virus.
This virus gave no indication it was hiding their, and the document was blank, however the damage was being done in the background.
The macro virus had one job, to encrypt the documents, photos and spreadsheets on the customer’s PC and hold the company to ransom – in this case the ransom was approx. £800.
Sadly, by the time the customer realised what had happened, it was too late, the virus had done it’s job and locked up this machine’s data, mainly accounts information including staff contracts, client invoices and a customer database.
The member of staff knew something was wrong as soon as the desktop wallpaper had changed to a ransom demand, but with the damage done, what else could they do but pay the ransom?
Luckily for this customer, the backup systems had safeguarded the important data and Techknowledgey were able to get the customer up and running again in just a few hours, and this also gave us a chance to review the existing anti virus arrangements.
We were able to make improvements to the system to ensure that a repeat of this situation would be unlikely, including moving the email and document storage systems to Microsoft Office 365, ensuring data safety, continuity of business and a cost effective way of gaining the latest version of Microsoft Office on the office PCs and Macs.