Need Bitcoin Now?

By:  |  Category: Blog, Security Friday, September 22nd, 2017  |  No Comments
Bitcoin

In desperate need of Bitcoin? I’m guessing you got hit by Ransomware. Bummer! So, what’s the protocol here? What are the proverbial “next steps” after your data has been encrypted by ransomware?

The extortion message on your screen is demanding BITCOIN.

Most of us have heard of Bitcoin but few have used it as a currency.

So what exactly is Bitcoin, how do you get it and how do you send it to a cybercriminal holding your data hostage?

Bitcoin, came into existence in 2008. It is a digital asset and payment system, which the U.S. Treasury classifies as a decentralized virtual currency. Because Bitcoin is a faceless currency, it has also been called the first “cryptocurrency”.

Bitcoins can be exchanged for other currencies, products and services. Usually, bitcoins are bought through a bitcoin exchange, but you can also buy them directly from a person. Bitcoins can be purchased with cash, check, wire transfer, debit card, or credit card. There are a wide variety of bitcoin exchanges to choose from, depending on the currency you are using. To use a bitcoin exchange you must create a profile, however, your identity is kept private. Bitcoin is a “pseudonymous currency,” which means that funds are tied to a bitcoin address rather than a person or business. In the US, Coinbase is a reputable Bitcoin dealer.

Bitcoins are kept in what is known as a “wallet.” There are three types of bitcoin wallets available today, each with its own pluses and negatives. The first, a software wallet, stores bitcoins locally on your computer or mobile device. Another way is to use a web-based wallet service. Finally, there are hardware wallets that store bitcoins offline on a small electronic device.

The benefits of the software and web-based wallets are obvious–ease of use, because, you can access them directly from your laptop or mobile device. They are, however, more at risk to theft than offline hardware wallets. Wherever you store your Bitcoin, it really comes down to personal preference.

Buying bitcoins is not a difficult process and ransomware demands are typically fairly low, so many people tend to pay the ransom to quickly get their data back so that they can move on and avoid any future downtime. You will be given directions on where to send the Bitcoin by the criminal.

However, paying a ransom should be a last ditch resort.

Why? First, you don’t even know if the thieves will unlock your files and there are no guarantees. And second, paying the ransom continues the treachery. Think about that line-“We don’t negotiate with terrorists,”–same concept.

According to the cybersecurity experts at Datto, “Ransomware protection requires a three-pronged approach. First, awareness is key. Be wary of suspicious emails which ask you to open links or attachments. Second, make sure that your software is patched and up-to-date. And, not just your antivirus software, ransomware exploits vulnerabilities in commonly used software, such as Microsoft Office or Adobe apps. Keeping software up-to-date can go a long way to protect against ransomware. Finally, a comprehensive backup and recovery solution is a must to quickly recover files without paying ransom if you do get hit. Look for backup and recovery solutions that allow you to roll back your data and applications to a point in time before the attack.”

Don’t negotiate with cybercriminals. Put a security plan in place before the ransom has you searching in a panic for Bitcoin dealers. Call EnhancedTECH at 714-970-9330 or contact us at sales@enhancedtech.com for a complimentary cybersecurity consultation.

Samantha Keller

Samantha Keller

Director of Marketing and PR at EnhancedTECH
Samantha Keller (AKA Sam) is a published author, tech-blogger, event-planner and mother of three fabulous humans. Samantha has worked in the IT field for the last fifteen years, intertwining a freelance writing career along with technology sales, events and marketing. She began working for EnhancedTECH ten years ago after earning her Bachelor’s degree from UCLA and attending Fuller Seminary. She is a lover of kickboxing, extra-strong coffee, and Wolfpack football.Her regular blog columns feature upcoming tech trends, cybersecurity tips, and practical solutions geared towards enhancing your business through technology.
Samantha Keller
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