Experts Explain How Ransomware And Bitcoins Work For Hackers

CHARLOTTE, NC — “They were demanding $5,000 from us,” said Charlotte BBB President/CEO, Tom Bartholomy.

Charlotte Better Business Bureau President Tom Bartholomy knows all too well about Ransomware. An employee opened an email earlier this year, infecting all five of its servers. The BBB knew it could refuse to pay.

“We also knew we had good backups, daily backups and solid weekly backups of all of our data,” said Bartholomy.

Cyber expert, Emory Simmons with CMIT Solutions of South Charlotte says that is key, planning and backing up files. Hackers use Ransomware to encrypt files, then lock them so you can’t access them.

“You’ll get a message that will give you instructions on how to redeem your files so basically that’s the ransom piece of it,” said Simmons.

And they’re demanding ransom paid in Bitcoins, or crypto-currency.

“It’s not paper it’s not plastic , it’s cyber, it’s just out there it has no value except the value that people assign to it by trading it,” said Bartholomy.

Bartholomy says it’s become popular with criminals for many reasons.

“It’s not traceable it’s not retrievable once you give somebody a bitcoin it’s theirs it’s gone,” said Bartholomy.

So Simmons says everyone needs to be proactive.

“Talk to the people that are doing your IT work in house or using outside firm and make sure you together with them fully understand how long it would take to put your systems back together again,” said Simmons.