Ransomware locks up a sufferer’s files till cash is paid. Here’s a way to guard your information and keep away from an assault for your computer community

The cities of Newark, Atlanta, and Sarasota were hit. So have Cleveland’s airport and San Francisco’s transit authority. When the cyber attack centered Leeds, Alabama, its mayor had no get right of entry to e-mail, personnel files, or monetary structures.

This week on “60 Minutes,” correspondent Scott Pelley reports on the developing cyber danger referred to as ransomware, a sort of malware that locks up a victim’s files and denies get entry to to a pc system till the money is paid with a digital currency this is tough to hint. While Pelley’s file makes a specialty of the effects of ransomware, the professionals he spoke with said most assaults can be avoided.


The FBI’s Mike Christman lately ran the bureau’s cybercrime unit. He gave Pelley suggestions on stopping a ransomware assault:

Use two-thing authentication. Two-thing or dual-factor authentication provides a layer of safety to online bills by requiring two methods of proving your identity. One commonplace form of two-element authentication is coming into a password, then receiving a one-time numerical code thru textual content message.

Backup your information offline. Use an outside tough drive to comfy crucial statistics.

Use inner firewalls for your community. That manner, if a malicious actor accesses your computer, he can’t pass laterally through the community and lock up the complete gadget. Experts liken it to stopping one character’s case of the flu from becoming a pandemic.

Regularly replace your password. Cybercriminals trying to hack right into a system sometimes purchase stolen passwords at the darkish internet.

Remote access creates an extra set of vulnerabilities. Understand the dangers, inclusive of the possibility of stolen passwords, and the way to prevent them whilst permitting personnel or IT group of workers far off get admission to networks.


The maximum common form of ransomware attack starts with a phishing electronic mail, which attempts to get users to open an attachment or click on on a link. The attachment or hyperlink then installs ransomware.

Tom Pace is a VP at BlackBerry Cylance, the main cybersecurity firm. He spoke with 60 Minutes manufacturer Henry Schuster approximately the way to discover phishing emails, announcing to look for these signs:

Misspelled phrases

Strange phrase selections

Odd hyperlinks, specifically from a person who wouldn’t generally send a hyperlink

Unusual attachments, specifically a zipped file or a.Exe document

Pace stated to be privy to wherein the e-mail is coming from, and if it seems to be coming from a pal, name the person and ask if they sent an attachment before you open it.


Pace advised 60 Minutes that, while your laptop tells you to replace software program, do it. It’s known as patching.

Over time, hackers locate vulnerabilities within the software, including working systems, Adobe Reader, and Microsoft Word. Vendors, in the end, patch those structures with normal updates—so you need to update as properly.


Last 12 months, a ransomware attack close down the pc structures at Indiana’s Hancock Regional Hospital. The entire network changed into held hostage until the clinic paid a $55,000 ransom. Its CEO, Steve Long, now warns others about the danger of ransomware.

“Fundamentally precise organizational dynamics are what you need,” Long informed 60 Minutes. “So the stuff you’re seeking to do besides, that is what’s going that will help you get via this.”